What is Cosentyx?
Cosentyx is a prescription medication used to treat plaque psoriasis and types of arthritis. Cosentyx is administered via subcutaneous injection and contains the active ingredient secukinumab, which belongs to a class of drugs called monoclonal antibodies. Cosentyx works by inhibiting interleukin-17A, which plays a role in inflammation.
Cosentyx is administered via subcutaneous injection in the upper arm, thigh, or abdomen (two inches away from the umbilicus). The prescribed dosage is dependent on the severity of your medical condition and how you respond to treatment. When prescribed to children, the dosage is also based on their weight. It is important that you follow your doctor’s instructions carefully.
Prior to administering this medication, ensure you understand all the preparation and usage information provided by your healthcare professional. The syringe should be removed from the refrigerator at least 15 minutes prior to injection to allow it to warm to room temperature. The medication should be clear or tinged yellow but should not have any cloudiness or particles. Do not inject this medication if you notice these. Clean the chosen site of injection with alcohol. It is helpful if you alternate between injection sites to reduce trauma to the skin. Avoid injecting in areas with scars, stretch marks, signs of irritation, bruises, scabs, callouses, or that are affected by psoriasis. Avoid rubbing the injection site following administration to minimize bruising. To get the most benefit from this medication, use it regularly.
This medication should be stored in the refrigerator. Ensure it does not freeze and keep it in its original packaging until it is time to use it. The medication should be used within one hour of removing it from the refrigerator. Do not use expired product. Keep out of reach of children and pets, and out of direct sunlight. Do not flush expired or surplus product down the toilet or sink. When required, dispose of this medication responsibly, following the instructions of your healthcare provider.
All medications come with a risk of side effects. It is important to recognize that your doctor has determined that your risk of side effects is outweighed by the potential benefit that this product can provide. Side effects differ between individuals, and it is possible you will not experience any side effects at all.
Common Side Effects
Cosentyx is commonly associated with diarrhea. If you experience diarrhea and it concerns you, or it worsens or does not resolve on its own, contact your doctor right away.
Cosentyx may affect your immune system, reducing your ability to fight infection. This can make you more susceptible to getting infections or worsen current infections. Avoid contact with people who have contagious conditions such as chickenpox, influenza, or the common cold, and exercise good hand hygiene to protect yourself. If you think you have been in contact with an infectious person, contact your doctor for what to do next. If you develop signs of an infection (persistent sore throat, fever, chills), tell your doctor.
Severe Side Effects
Occasionally, Cosentyx can be associated with severe side effects that should be taken seriously. These include severe abdominal pain and severe diarrhea with blood or mucus.
An allergic reaction to Cosentyx is rare, but not impossible. Tell your doctor if you have had an allergic reaction to medication in the past, and do not take this medication if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction include rash, itching, facial swelling, dizziness, and difficulty breathing. Contact emergency medical assistance immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.
This is not an exhaustive list of side effects. If you experience any abnormal physical, mental, or behavioral changes while taking this medication, contact your healthcare provider right away.
Warnings & Precautions
Before starting Cosentyx treatment, tell your doctor any allergies you have, particularly if you are allergic to the ingredients of this medication. It is important that your doctor is aware of your complete personal and family medical history, especially of recent or recurrent infection (such as tuberculosis or herpes) or bowel disease (such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis).
As mentioned, Cosentyx can increase your susceptibility to infection, or exacerbate current infections. Take care to avoid people with current infections, and those that have recently received live vaccines, to protect yourself.
Prior to surgery, ensure all medical personnel involved in your care are aware of your medication schedule. Keep a list of all the products you use daily and share this with your doctors.
This medication should only be taken by pregnant people when it is absolutely necessary. If you are pregnant, intend to become pregnant, think you could be pregnant, or do become pregnant, ask your doctor if Cosentyx is right for you.
It is not known whether Cosentyx passes into breast milk. For this reason, it is not advised to breast feed while taking this medication. Contact your doctor for more information.
Interactions & Contraindications
Two or more medications taken concurrently can interact with one another, changing how one or more of them function in the body or leading to unwanted side effects. It is therefore important to minimize potential drug interactions when considering your medication schedule. Keep a comprehensive list of all the medications you take on a regular basis, including prescription, non-prescription, herbal, and vitamin products, and share this with your doctor. Do not stop, start, or change the dosage of any medication without first consulting your doctor.
If Cosentyx is taken alongside adalimumab, this can lead to potentially life-threatening situations where your body is at high risk of infections. This should be avoided unless your doctor has assessed the risk and taken the proper precautions for this to be a safe course of treatment. Monitor your symptoms closely and contact your doctor if you notice symptoms of infection such as fever, persistent sore throat, chills, muscle aches, weight loss, appetite changes, and blood in phlegm.
Cosentyx can reduce the amount of amlodipine in the blood and its effects on the body. If you have been taking amlodipine and wish to start taking Cosentyx, your doctor may need to adjust your dosage to accommodate the new drug. Do not change your dosage or stop taking any medication without first asking your doctor. Monitor your symptoms closely and contact your doctor if you observe any changes.
Cosentyx can also reduce the amount of atorvastatin in the blood and its effects on the body. Your dose of atorvastatin may need to be adjusted to accommodate Cosentyx. Monitor your symptoms and ask your doctor if you have any concerns.
Patients receiving interleukin inhibitors such as Cosentyx may not be protected from vaccines if administered during the course of treatment. Immunizations should be up to date before commencing treatment to prevent this interaction. Patients taking interleukin inhibitors should not receive live vaccines either, for the increased risk of infection. Further, household contacts of patients taking interleukin inhibitors should take caution when receiving live vaccines as there is a risk of transmission to the patient.
Prior to starting Cosentyx treatment, patients should be screened for tuberculosis infection. Patients with an active tuberculosis infection should not be administered Cosentyx as this will diminish their ability to fight the infection. Anti-tuberculosis therapy should be considered prior to commencing treatment with Cosentyx.
Cosentyx can sometimes initiate or exacerbate inflammatory bowel disease. Patients with existing inflammatory bowel disease should exercise caution when taking Cosentyx.
This is not a complete list of interactions. If you are concerned about Cosentyx interacting with a medication you already take or want to take, ask your doctor about it.