Cosentyx (Secukinumab)

Cosentyx is a biologic medicine that suppresses the immune system in order to treat psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and psoriasis. Cozentyx works by blocking interleukin-17 (IL-17), a signalling protein (cytokine) that regulates the immune system and is related to the body’s inflammatory response. Taking Cosentyx Cosentyx is available as a subcutaneous (under the skin) injection.

How to Take Cosentyx

Cosentyx is available as a subcutaneous (under the skin) injection.

Cosentyx comes as a pre-filled syringe that a patient takes once a month. When you start taking Cosentyx, you will get a weekly injection for the first five weeks and then once a month after that. The normal dose of Cosentyx is either 150 or 300 mg and is based on body weight.

Important Tests and Risks

Cosentyx may make it a bit more difficult for people to fight off infections. So if you have a fever, suspect you have an infection or are taking antibiotics for an infection, consult your doctor.

Also, discuss any vaccinations with their physician, because certain ones are not recommended while taking this medication.

You’ll also need to talk to your doctor about stopping Cosentyx before surgery, and then starting it again once you’ve healed with no sign of infection.

It’s important to get a TB (tuberculosis) skin test and a chest x-ray before starting Cosentyx.

While it may feel overwhelming at first, it’s easy for both patients and caregivers to learn how to perform a subcutaneous (often called a subq injection). This is a type of injection that’s given under the skin.

It is important for patients who are taking Cosentyx to get occasional blood tests as requested by their doctor to keep an eye on blood counts and monitor the arthritis.

FAQ - Audio Presenter

 Sue North

Sue North

Vancouver, BC
Cosentyx - when to call a doctor
Cosentyx - important tests to take

How to Give Subcutaneous Injections

To give a subcutaneous injection, you’ll poke a small needle just under the skin. Unlike an intramuscular injection (delivers medication directly into a muscle) or an intravenous injection (delivers medication directly into the blood), this type of shot delivers medicine into the fatty tissue underneath the skin.

The medicine is then absorbed by the small blood vessels under the skin, which is similar to when you take a tablet or pill.

How Cosentyx Works

Cosentyx is a type of protein known as a monoclonal antibody. It works by blocking s signalling protein called interleukin-17 (IL-17). IL-17 regulates the immune system and is related to the body’s inflammatory response.

By binding to IL-17, Cosentyx prevents this protein from binding to its receptors. Immune system cells like T-cells use IL-17 as a messenger to attract other inflammatory cells. However, when Cosentyx is interfering with IL-17, the messages to other inflammatory cells don’t get through as often.

While the overall effect is suppression of the immune system, Cosentyx helps to stabilize a patient’s overactive immune system. It also treats arthritis and psoriasis symptoms.

Side Effects of Cosentyx

The most common side effects of Cosentyx are cold symptoms, diarrhea and upper respiratory tract infections.

Other possible side effects include:

  • Pain, redness and itching at the injection site. This is rare, but you should tell your doctor if your injection site reaction is severe.
  • A flare of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This includes Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis.
  • Rarely, a person has an allergic reaction, which may include trouble breathing, throat tightness, facial swelling, chest tightness and hives. Stop taking Cosentyx if any of these symptoms occur.

People taking Cosentyx should talk to their doctor if they are concerned about side effects.

Who Should Not Take Cosentyx

There are some people who should not take Cosentyx, including:

  • People with a fever or possible infection
  • Anyone who has an allergic reaction to Cosentyx or any ingredient in it
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women

If you’re undergoing surgery, discuss stopping Cosentyx with your doctor. Once you’ve healed and there are no signs of infection, you can resume taking the medication.

When to Call a Doctor

If you experience side effects, are concerned about possible side effects or want to stop taking Cosentyx, call your doctor.

Or, contact your physician if you:

Have a fever or possible infection

  • Have severe diarrhea
  • Are planning on getting vaccinations or undergoing surgery
  • Are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant
  • Develop an allergic reaction or rash

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