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Cosentyx® (secukinumab)

Cosentyx is a type of biologic therapy called an interleukin 17-A (IL-17A) blocker. Cosentyx is approved to treat people with ankylosing spondylitis (AS), and it is also approved to treat plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.1 In people with AS, biologic therapies are generally used as a second-line treatment, after treatment with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and in people who have evidence of joint damage visible on imaging (radiographic axial spondylitis).

What is the ingredient in Cosentyx?

The active ingredient in Cosentyx is secukinumab, an IL-17A blocker.1

How does Cosentyx work?

Cosentyx works by blocking the function of the IL-17A proteins, which are chemical messengers (cytokines) involved in the inflammatory response. While IL-17A proteins occur naturally in the body, in people with conditions like AS, there is an excess or abnormal amount of inflammation and increased levels of IL-17A. Cosentyx is a monoclonal antibody that binds to the IL-17A proteins in the body, blocking their ability to connect to the IL-17A receptor and stopping the cascade of inflammation that occurs from this pathway. Blocking one of the inflammatory pathways can help reduce the symptoms of AS like pain and stiffness in the joints.1

What are the possible side effects with Cosentyx?

Because Cosentyx interferes with one of the proteins involved in the immune system function (IL-17A), it may impair your body’s ability to fight infections. Some infections may be serious and require hospitalization.1,2

The most common side effects experienced with Cosentyx include cold symptoms, diarrhea, and upper respiratory infection.1,2

Cosentyx may cause a serious allergic reaction. Patients who experience hives, trouble breathing, or swelling of the face, lips, or mouth should seek immediate medical attention.1,2

These are not all the potential side effects of Cosentyx. For more information, patients should talk to their doctor about what to expect. Any new or worsening side effects should be reported to a doctor or healthcare professional.

Things to know about Cosentyx

Before starting treatment with Cosentyx, patients should talk to their doctors about all their medical conditions, especially if they1,2:

  • Have any signs of infection (fever, chills, cough, muscle aches, shortness of breath, sores, diarrhea, burning during urination) or are prone to frequent infections
  • Tested positive for TB or have been in close contact with someone who has TB
  • Were born in, lived in, or traveled to countries where there is an increased risk of TB (ask your doctor if you aren’t sure)
  • Have inflammatory bowel disease, like ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease
  • Are scheduled to receive a vaccine
  • Are allergic to latex
  • Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant or are breastfeeding

Before beginning treatment with Cosentyx, patients should talk to their doctors about all medications (over-the-counter and prescription), vitamins, and supplements they are taking. Some medications or supplements may increase the risk of side effects if taken in combination with Cosentyx.1,2

Patients should be tested for TB before beginning treatment with Cosentyx.1,2

If an infection occurs while taking Cosentyx, patients should contact their doctor. If the infection becomes serious, treatment with Cosentyx may be stopped.1,2

Patients taking Cosentyx should not receive live vaccines.1,2

Dosing information

Cosentyx is an injection given under the skin (subcutaneously). To treat AS, it may be given with or without a loading dose (a higher concentration at the beginning of treatment). If your doctor recommends a loading dose, Cosentyx is given once a week for the first five doses and then once every four weeks. Without a loading dose, Consentyx is given once every four weeks. Patients should talk to their doctor about any questions on their dosing regimen.1

Written by: Emily Downward | Last reviewed: February 2019
  1. Cosentyx prescribing information. Available at https://www.pharma.us.novartis.com/sites/www.pharma.us.novartis.com/files/cosentyx.pdf. Accessed 1/17/19.
  2. Cosentyx product website. Available at http://www.cosentyx.com/ankylosing-spondylitis/how-cosentyx-works.jsp. Accessed 1/18/19.