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Updated June 2022
Secukinumab (brand name: Cosentyx®) is a medicine used to treat adults with psoriatic arthritis, an inflammatory disease of the joints that is often accompanied by psoriasis. Secukinumab is also used to treat adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis that is chronic (lasts for a long time).
Secukinumab may also be used to treat adults with axial spondyloarthritis, an inflammatory disease which primarily affects the spine, causing inflammation and pain in the spinal joints.
Secukinumab is a monoclonal antibody which is a protein that recognises and binds to an inflammatory protein called Interleukin 17A (IL-17A). In patients with psoriatic arthritis and axial spondyloarthritis, the body's immune system produces an increased amount of IL-17A which causes the symptoms such as swollen and painful joints.Secukinumab blocks the action of IL-17A in the body, reducing the inflammation and other symptoms caused by the increased amount of IL-17A.
It may take a number of weeks for you to notice some relief of joint swelling, pain and stiffness.
If secukinumab treatment is stopped or delayed there is a risk that your condition will get worse again. Continue with your treatment unless advised by your rheumatologist or unless side effects develop (see Side effects).
If you stop secukinumab for any reason, you must contact your rheumatologist. Failure to do so may mean that your treatment may no longer be funded.
Medicines like secukinumab are very expensive and funded by Medicare. Certain conditions must be met to receive it.
Secukinumab will only be given if your disease is active and if standard treatments have not worked.
Secukinumab is injected just under the skin of the thigh or abdomen. It is best to avoid (if possible) any areas of skin involved with psoriasis. The prefilled autoinjector or syringe should be taken out of refrigerator 15-30 minutes before injecting to allow it to reach room temperature. Do not shake or freeze it. It can be injected by your doctor, nurse, carer, or by you. If injecting yourself, be sure to follow the detailed instructions carefully to ensure the best response. It is important to change the injection site each time.
If you miss an injection: make the next injection as soon as you remember and continue to use it as you normally would. Do not inject a double dose to make up for a missed dose. If you have missed more than one dose or are not sure what to do, check with your doctor or pharmacist.
If you have used too much (overdose): Let your doctor know as soon as possible if you accidentally use more than your prescribed dose. The risk of adverse events is higher with larger doses.
Secukinumab is a solution for injection that comes in a pre-filled syringe or pen. Each pre-filled pen contains 150mg of secukinumab. In psoriatic arthritis and axial spondyloarthritis, the usual dose of secukinumab is 150mg (the contents of one pre-filled pen) or 300mg (two pens at a time) injected each week for the first 5 weeks of treatment, then once a month after that.
This medicine may be used alone or with other arthritis medicines including:
You might experience side effects with your treatment. Tell your doctor if you notice side effects that you think are caused by this medicine. Many side effects disappear when secukinumab treatment is stopped.
There are some rare but potentially serious side effects with secukinumab including:
Other side effects not listed in this leaflet may also occur. Tell your doctor if you notice any other side effects that you think might be caused by secukinumab.
If you have an active infection of any kind, treatment with secukinumab will not be started until the infection is treated successfully.
Use with other medicines
Use with phototherapy
If you require surgery for any reason, you should discuss this with your rheumatologist as some people need to stop taking secukinumab before surgery.
You may drink alcohol while taking secukinumab. However, if you are also taking methotrexate, you should be cautious about how much alcohol you drink.
Use in pregnancy and when breastfeeding