Secukinumab (Cosentyx)


Secukinumab (Cosentyx) is a biologic medication used to treat conditions like psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis. Biologics are medicines that humans made through genetic engineering techniques and closely related to a protein that occurs naturally in the body.

How To Take It

Secukinumab can be injected under the skin (subcutaneous injection) or injected into the vein through IV (intravenous infusion). When injecting under the skin, the site of injection should be rotated so the same site is not used multiple times. For injecting into the vein through IV, it is done by special nurses that will always monitor the entire process. Some patients will start to see improvement within a few weeks, but it may take several months to take full effect. Secukinumab may be taken alone or other medication such as with methotrexate. Secukinumab should not be given with another biologic drug.

Side Effects

The most common side effects are infections such as cold symptoms or diarrhea. If you develop symptoms of an infection while using this medication, you should stop it and contact your doctor. Rare cases of inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, have been seen. Very rarely, patients have developed allergic reactions to secukinumab. Secukinumab can lower your immune system’s ability to fight infections. All patients should be tested for tuberculosis before starting on secukinumab.

Tell Your Rheumatology Provider

If you develop signs of an infection or have any side effects, especially diarrhea, bloody bowel movements, abdominal pain, fever, or allergic reactions, you should stop taking the medication and contact your rheumatology provider. If you are pregnant or considering pregnancy, let your doctor know before starting this medication. Secukinumab has not been studied in pregnancy or breastfeeding. Be sure to talk with your rheumatology provider before receiving any vaccines or undergoing any surgeries while taking this medication.

Updated March 2024 by Howard Yang, MD, and reviewed by the American College of Rheumatology Communications and Marketing Committee.

This information is provided for general education only. Individuals should consult a qualified health care provider for professional medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment of a medical or health condition.

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