Reviewed by: HU Medical Review Board | Last reviewed: October 2023 | Last updated: October 2023
Cosentyx® (secukinumab) is a prescription drug used to treat moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in people 6 years and older who may benefit from taking injections or pills (systemic therapy) or light therapy. Systemic drugs are medicines that affect the whole body, not just the skin. Light therapy involves controlled exposure of your affected skin to ultraviolet light.1,2
Cosentyx is a biologic therapy. Biologics are drugs made from living cells. The process of making biologics turns products made from cells into drugs that can prevent, treat, and cure disease. These are different from most traditional drugs. Traditional drugs are made from chemicals in a lab. Their ingredients are not directly derived from living cells.3
Cosentyx is also approved to treat other conditions:1
- Active psoriatic arthritis (PsA) in people 2 years of age and older
- Adults with active ankylosing spondylitis (AS)
- Adults with active non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA) with signs of inflammation
- Active enthesitis-related arthritis (ERA) in children 4 years of age and older
- Adults with moderate to severe hidradenitis suppurativa (HS)
How does Cosentyx work?
Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that causes symptoms on the skin. A person with psoriasis has an overactive immune system that causes inflammation in the body. This inflammation causes the body to make too many new skin cells before the older skin cells can be shed. The new skin cells push the older cells upward to the surface of the skin, where they build up and cause plaques to form.4
Cosentyx works by targeting interleukin-17 receptor A (IL-17RA). IL-17RA is a chemical messenger that plays a key role in inflammation. By blocking IL-17RA, Cosentyx interrupts the cycle of inflammation that causes psoriasis symptoms to develop.1
What are the possible side effects?
The most common side effects of Cosentyx include:1
- Cold symptoms
- Upper respiratory tract infections
These are not all the possible side effects of Cosentyx. Talk to your doctor about what to expect when taking Cosentyx. You also should call your doctor if you have any changes that concern you when taking Cosentyx.
Other things to know
Before starting treatment with Cosentyx, tell your doctor if you have:1
- Are being treated for an infection
- An infection that does not go away or keeps coming back
- Tuberculosis (TB) or have been in close contact with someone with TB
- Think you have an infection or have symptoms of an infection, such as fever, muscle aches, cough, or diarrhea
- Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis).
- A latex allergy, since the needle cap on the Cosentyx Sensoready pen and the prefilled syringes contain latex.
- Recently received or are scheduled to receive any vaccines. You should not receive certain vaccines during treatment with Cosentyx.
Taking Cosentyx can reduce your body’s ability to fight off infections. For this reason, your doctor will test you for TB before starting treatment. They also will continue to monitor you throughout treatment for signs of any other infections.1
There is not enough data to know if Cosentyx is safe to take while pregnant or breastfeeding. Before starting treatment with Cosentyx, tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding. They can help you decide if Cosentyx is right for you.1
Cosentyx is prescribed as a single-dose, prefilled syringe or is given in a vein (intravenously). Your doctor will decide which type and dose of Cosentyx is right for you.1
Before beginning treatment for psoriasis, tell your doctor about all your health conditions and any other drugs, vitamins, or supplements you are taking. This includes over-the-counter drugs.
For more information, read the full prescribing information of Cosentyx.