Tremfya is a brand-name prescription medication. It's used to treat moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in adults. With this condition, red, itchy patches form on your skin. Plaque psoriasis is just one of many types of psoriasis.

Tremfya may be an option if you can receive systemic therapy (medication that you take by mouth or as an injection) or phototherapy (treatment with light). Tremfya is a kind of systemic treatment.

Tremfya is a type of drug called a biologic, which is made from parts of living organisms by using advanced technology. Tremfya belongs to a class of medications called interleukin-23 blockers. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way.

Tremfya is available in two forms: a prefilled syringe and a One-Press injector. The medication is given as an injection just under your skin (subcutaneous).A healthcare provider will give you your first dose. Then they can show you or your caregiver how to give injections at home.

FDA approval

In 2017, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Tremfya to treat moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in adults.

Effectiveness

Clinical studies looked at adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis who took Tremfya or a placebo (no treatment). After 16 weeks, psoriasis symptoms cleared up entirely or eased in 84% to 85% of people who took Tremfya. This was compared to 7% to 8% of people who took a placebo.

Tremfya is available only as a brand-name medication. Tremfya contains the active drug guselkumab.

Tremfya isn't currently available in biosimilar form.

A biosimilar is a medication that's similar to a brand-name drug. A generic medication, on the other hand, is an exact copy of a brand-name drug. Biosimilars are based on biologic medications, which are made from parts of living organisms by using advanced technology. Generics are based on regular medications, which are made from chemicals. Biosimilars and generics also usually cost less than brand-name drugs.

Tremfya can cause mild or serious side effects. The following list contains some of the key side effects that may occur while taking Tremfya. This list does not include all possible side effects.

For more information on the possible side effects of Tremfya, or tips on how to deal with a troubling side effect, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

More common side effects

The more common side effects of Tremfya can include:

Most of these side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they're more severe or don't go away, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from Tremfya aren't common, but they can occur. Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you're having a medical emergency.

Serious side effects, explained in more detail below in "Side effect details," include:

Side effect details

You may wonder how often certain side effects occur with this drug, or whether certain side effects pertain to it. Here's some detail on some of the side effects this drug may or may not cause.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, some people can have an allergic reaction after taking Tremfya. Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

  • skin rash
  • itchiness
  • hives (itchy welts on your skin)
  • flushing (warmth and redness in your skin)

A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include:

  • swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, face, hands, or feet
  • swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat
  • trouble breathing

It's not known how many people have had an allergic reaction during their Tremfya treatment.

Call your doctor right away if you have a severe allergic reaction to Tremfya. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you're having a medical emergency.

Joint pain

You're not likely to have joint pain while taking Tremfya. In one study, only 2.7% of people who took Tremfya had joint pain. This was compared to 2.1% of people who took a placebo (no treatment).

If you're feeling joint pain that concerns you, talk with your doctor. They can suggest treatments to help you feel more comfortable.

Infections

Taking Tremfya may lead you to develop an upper respiratory infection. This includes nose and throat infections. In clinical studies, 14.3% of people who took Tremfya had upper respiratory infections. This was compared to 12.8% of people who took a placebo (no treatment).

Upper respiratory infections are the same type of infection that causes cold symptoms. So if you have a runny or stuffy nose, cough, or sore throat, drink fluids and get plenty of rest. And if your symptoms are bothersome, talk with your doctor. They can suggest treatments to help you feel better.

Less common infections

While you take Tremfya, it's possible to develop other infections. However, they're much less common than the upper respiratory infections mentioned above.

The less common infections include fungal infections such as athlete's foot and herpes infections such as cold sores. (Fungal infections are caused by a fungus, and herpes infections are caused by the herpes virus.) Fungal or herpes infections occurred in 1.1% of people who took Tremfya. This was compared to people who took a placebo (no treatment). In this group, 0% had a fungal infection and 0.5% of people had a herpes infection.

Fungal and herpes infections are easily treated, and you can ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice. But if these infections don't go away within about a week or get worse, tell your doctor.

Injection site reaction

Taking Tremfya may cause you to have an injection site reaction. This is irritation near the spot where you had an injection. In clinical studies, 4.5% of people who took Tremfya had injection site reactions. This was compared to 2.8% of people who took a placebo (no treatment). Symptoms included bruising, swelling, itching, and redness.

To help prevent injection site reactions, try injecting Tremfya in a different spot for each dose. Also, make sure you choose a spot that isn't tender, scaly, red, or bruised. Follow the proper instructions on injections (see the "How to take Tremfya" section below). And keep in mind that it's important to clean the injection site before an injection.

If your symptoms are bothering you, talk with your doctor. They may recommend a topical medication that you apply to your skin.

Tuberculosis

Before you take Tremfya, your doctor will likely check you for a type of lung infection called tuberculosis (TB). If you've had TB in the past, the infection could still be in your body without causing symptoms. Taking Tremfya could cause the TB to become active and bring on symptoms. It's not known how many people had TB that became active while taking Tremfya.

It's important to tell your doctor if you've ever had TB or have been treated for it. In these cases, your doctor may give you medication for TB before you start taking Tremfya. This may help prevent the TB infection from becoming active during your Tremfya treatment.

Symptoms of TB can include:

  • cough
  • extreme tiredness
  • weight loss or loss of appetite
  • night sweats

If you notice any of these symptoms while taking Tremfya, tell your doctor. They may pause your use of Tremfya to treat the TB.

Weight loss or weight gain (not a side effect)

Tremfya hasn't been linked to weight loss or weight gain in studies. However, weight loss could be a sign of an infection, such as TB, or other condition that requires treatment. (For more about TB, see the "Tuberculosis" section right above.)

If you have unexpected weight loss or weight gain when taking Tremfya, tell your doctor. They can help see what may be causing your weight to change.

Hair loss (not a side effect)

Taking Tremfya shouldn't cause you to lose your hair. However, psoriasis of the scalp can lead to temporary hair loss. Other psoriasis treatments and scalp irritation from itching and scratching can also cause hair loss.

If you have psoriasis on your scalp and are concerned about losing your hair, talk with your doctor. They may be able to suggest ways to help prevent hair loss.

Fatigue (not a side effect)

Tremfya isn't known to cause fatigue (lack of energy). However, fatigue could be a sign of an infection or other condition that requires treatment.

If you have fatigue while taking Tremfya, tell your doctor. They can look into possible causes.

Depression (not a side effect)

Depression isn't a side effect of Tremfya. However, having plaque psoriasis may cause you to feel sad for periods of time. This sadness can vary depending on how severe your plaque psoriasis is. But as your condition improves, you may feel less discouraged, sad, and depressed.

If you're concerned about depression, ask your doctor about a depression screening. And be sure to tell them if you're feeling sad, irritable, or depressed. Many treatments are available to help you with these feelings.

The Tremfya dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:

  • the type and severity of the condition you're using Tremfya to treat
  • other medical conditions you may have

The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to suit your needs.

Drug forms and strengths

Tremfya is given as an injection just under your skin (subcutaneous). The medication is available in one strength: 100 mg/mL.

Tremfya is available in two forms: a single-dose prefilled syringe and a One-Press injector. One form may be easier for you to use, so ask your doctor which form is right for you.

A healthcare provider will give you your first dose of Tremfya. Then they can show you or your caregiver how to give injections at home.

Dosage for plaque psoriasis

For plaque psoriasis, your first dose will be a 100-mg injection. After 4 weeks, you'll have another 100-mg injection. Then you'll have a 100-mg injection once every 8 weeks.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Tremfya, take it as soon as you remember. Then take the next dose as originally scheduled. If you have questions about a missed dose, ask your doctor.

To help make sure that you don't miss a dose, try putting your treatment schedule in a calendar. You can also set a reminder on your phone.

Will I need to use this drug long term?

Tremfya is meant to be used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Tremfya is safe and effective for you, you'll likely take it long term.

As with all medications, the cost of Tremfya can vary. To find current prices for Tremfya in your area, check out GoodRx.com:

The cost you find on GoodRx.com is what you may pay without insurance. The actual price you'll pay depends on your insurance coverage, location, and the pharmacy you use.

Financial and insurance assistance

If you need financial support to pay for Tremfya, or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help is available.

Janssen Biotech, Inc., the manufacturer of Tremfya, offers a program called Janssen CarePath. For more information and to find out if you're eligible for support, call 877-227-3728 or visit the program website.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as Tremfya to treat certain conditions. Tremfya may also be used off-label for other conditions, which are discussed below.

Tremfya for plaque psoriasis

Tremfya is FDA-approved to treat moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. This condition is one of many types of psoriasis.

When you have plaque psoriasis, yourimmune system (your body's defense against infections) is overactive. Your body makes too many skin cells, leading to buildup and areas called plaques. These plaques are red and itchy patches on your skin.

About 2% of people in the United States have psoriasis. And of those people with psoriasis, 80% to 90% have plaque psoriasis.

Tremfya may be an option if you can receive systemic therapy (medication that you take by mouth or as an injection) or phototherapy (treatment with light). Tremfya is a kind of systemic treatment.

Clinical studies looked at adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis who took Tremfya or a placebo (no treatment). After 16 weeks, psoriasis symptoms cleared up entirely or eased in 84% to 85% of people who took Tremfya. This was compared to 7% to 8% of people who took a placebo.

Tremfya for other conditions

In addition to the uses listed above, Tremfya may be used off-label for other uses. Off-label drug use is when a drug that's approved for one use is used for a different one that's not approved. And you may wonder if Tremfya is used for certain other conditions.

Tremfya for psoriatic arthritis (off-label use)

Tremfya is sometimes used off-label for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis. This is a condition that occurs when psoriasis leads to pain and stiffness in the joints.

One clinical study looked at adults with active psoriatic arthritis. ("Active" means that you currently have symptoms.) Researchers found that 58% of people who took Tremfya had symptoms improve by 20% within 24 weeks. This was compared to 18% of people who took a placebo (no treatment).

Tremfya for Crohn's disease (off-label use)

Tremfya may be used off-label for the treatment of Crohn's disease, which is a type of inflammatory bowel disease. Crohn's disease can affect your digestive system, including your stomach, intestines, and colon. Janssen Biotech, Inc., the manufacturer of Tremfya, is currently studying Tremfya in people with Crohn's disease.

Tremfya for ankylosing spondylitis (not an appropriate use)

Tremfya isn't approved for the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis and shouldn't be used off-label for this purpose. Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis (swelling in the joints) that affects your spine. Research doesn't currently support the use of Tremfya for this condition.

Tremfya doesn't interact with alcohol. But it's important to consider how alcohol may affect your condition overall. Drinking alcohol may increase inflammation (swelling) in your body and make your plaque psoriasis worse. Alcohol may also make it harder for your immune system to fight off infections.

If you drink alcohol, talk with your doctor. They can tell you how much is safe for you to drink during your Tremfya treatment.

Other drugs are available that can treat plaque psoriasis. Some may be better suited for you than others. If you're interested in finding an alternative to Tremfya, talk with your doctor to learn more about other medications that may work well for you.

Other medications that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved to treat plaque psoriasis include:

  • adalimumab (Humira)
  • brodalumab (Siliq)
  • certolizumab (Cimzia)
  • etanercept (Enbrel)
  • ixekizumab (Taltz)
  • risankizumab (Skyrizi)
  • secukinumab (Cosentyx)
  • tildrakizumab (Ilumya)
  • ustekinumab (Stelara)
  • infliximab (Remicade, Renflexis, Inflectra)

These medications are all types of biologic drugs, which are made from parts of living organisms by using advanced technology. These drugs affect your immune system in different ways to help treat psoriasis. (Your immune system is your body's defense against infection.)

You may wonder how Tremfya compares to other medications that are prescribed for similar uses. Here we look at how Tremfya and Stelara are alike and different.

Uses

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved both Tremfya and Stelara to treat moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. You must be able to receive systemic therapy (medication that you take by mouth or as an injection) or phototherapy (treatment with light). Tremfya and Stelara are types of systemic treatments.

Both Tremfya and Stelara can be used in adults. But Stelara is also approved for use in children ages 12 years and older.

In addition, Stelara is FDA-approved to treat the following conditions:

Drug forms and administration

For plaque psoriasis, both Tremfya and Stelara are given as an injection just under your skin (subcutaneous).

For Tremfya

Tremfya is available in one strength: 100 mg/mL. The drug comes in two forms: a single-dose prefilled syringe and a One-Press injector. One form may be easier for you to use, so ask your doctor which form is right for you.

Your first dose of Tremfya will be a 100-mg injection. After 4 weeks, you'll have another 100-mg injection. Then you'll have a 100-mg injection once every 8 weeks.

For Stelara

For plaque psoriasis, Stelara is available in the following forms and strengths:

  • 45 mg/0.5 mL or 90 mg/mL in a single-dose prefilled syringe (subcutaneous)
  • 45 mg/0.5 mL in a single-dose vial (subcutaneous)

Dosage for adults

For plaque psoriasis, your first dose of Stelara will be either a 45-mg or 90-mg injection. It depends on your weight. After 4 weeks, you'll have another injection of either 45-mg or 90-mg. Then, you'll have a 45-mg or 90-mg injection once every 12 weeks.

Dosage for children

The dosage for children ages 12 to 17 years of age is based on their weight. They'll receive doses at the same times described above for adults.

Side effects and risks

Tremfya and Stelara are both a type of drug called a biologic, which is made from parts of living organisms by using advanced technology. Therefore, both medications can cause some similar side effects. Below are examples of these side effects.

More common side effects

These lists contain examples of more common side effects that can occur with Tremfya, with Stelara, or with both drugs (when taken individually).

Serious side effects

These lists contain examples of serious side effects that can occur with Tremfya, with Stelara, or with both drugs (when taken individually).

  • Can occur with Tremfya:
    • few unique serious side effects
  • Can occur with Stelara:
    • risk of certain infections including those of the skin, lungs, bones, and urinary tract
    • a type of skin cancer called nonmelanoma
    • reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome (a rare brain condition that's usually curable with treatment)
    • pneumonia that isn't caused by an infection
    • depression
  • Can occur with both Tremfya and Stelara:

Effectiveness

The only FDA-approved use of both Tremfya and Stelara is to treat moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.

The use of Tremfya and Stelara in treating moderate to severe plaque psoriasis has been directly compared in a clinical study. Researchers looked at people whose symptoms didn't clear up within the first 16 weeks of Stelara treatment. These people then either took Stelara for 12 more weeks or took Tremfya for 12 weeks. Psoriasis symptoms cleared up entirely or eased in 31% of the people who took Tremfya. This was compared to 14% of people who took Stelara.

Costs

Tremfya and Stelara are both brand-name drugs. There are currently no biosimilar forms of either drug.

A biosimilar is a medication that's similar to a brand-name drug. A generic medication, on the other hand, is an exact copy of a brand-name drug. Biosimilars are based on biologic medications, which are made from parts of living organisms by using advanced technology. Generics are based on regular medications, which are made from chemicals. Biosimilars and generics also usually cost less than brand-name drugs.

According to estimates on GoodRx.com, Tremfya and Stelara generally cost about the same over time. The actual price you'll pay for either drug depends on your insurance plan, location, and the pharmacy you use.

In addition to Stelara (above), Humira is another drug that has a use similar to that of Tremfya. Here we look at how Tremfya and Humira are alike and different.

Uses

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved both Tremfya and Humira to treat moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in adults. You must be able to receive systemic therapy (medication that you take by mouth or as an injection) or phototherapy (treatment with light). Tremfya and Humira are types of systemic treatments. Humira is generally used when other systemic treatments haven't worked.

Humira is also FDA-approved to treat the following conditions:

Drug forms and administration

Here's some information about the forms of Tremfya and Humira, and how the drugs are given.

For Tremfya

Tremfya is given as an injection just under your skin (subcutaneous). The medication is available in one strength: 100 mg/mL.

Tremfya is available in two forms: a single-dose prefilled syringe and a One-Press injector. One form may be easier for you to use, so ask your doctor which form is right for you.

For plaque psoriasis, your first dose of Tremfya will be a 100-mg injection. After 4 weeks, you'll have another 100-mg injection. Then you'll have a 100-mg injection once every 8 weeks.

For Humira

Like Tremfya, Humira is also given as an injection just under your skin (subcutaneous). Humira is available in the following forms and strengths:

  • Single-use prefilled pen:
    • 40 mg/0.4 mL
    • 40 mg/0.8 mL
    • 80 mg/0.8 mL
  • Single-use prefilled syringe:
    • 10 mg/0.1 mL
    • 10 mg/0.2 mL
    • 20 mg/0.2 mL
    • 20 mg/0.4 mL
    • 40 mg/0.4 mL
    • 40 mg/0.8 mL
    • 80 mg/0.8 mL
  • Single-use vial for injection by a healthcare provider:
    • 40 mg/0.8 mL

For plaque psoriasis, you'll have an 80-mg injection at first, followed by a 40-mg injection 1 week later. Then you'll have a 40-mg injection every 2 weeks.

Side effects and risks

Tremfya and Humira are both a type of drug called a biologic, which is made from parts of living organisms by using advanced technology. Therefore, both medications can cause some similar side effects. Below are examples of these side effects.

More common side effects

These lists contain examples of more common side effects that can occur with Tremfya, with Humira, or with both drugs (when taken individually).

Serious side effects

These lists contain examples of serious side effects that can occur with Tremfya, with Humira, or with both drugs (when taken individually).

* Humira has a boxed warning for malignancy (cancer) and serious infections such as TB. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Effectiveness

The only condition both Tremfya and Humira are used to treat is moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.

The use of Tremfya and Humira in treating moderate to severe plaque psoriasis has been directly compared in a clinical study.

After 16 weeks, plaque psoriasis symptoms cleared up entirely or eased in 84% of people who took Tremfya. This was compared to 61% of people who took Humira. After 48 weeks, plaque psoriasis symptoms cleared up entirely or eased in 79% of people who took Tremfya. This was compared to 54% of people who took Humira.

The 2019 American Academy of Dermatology and the National Psoriasis Foundation guidelines recommend Humira as a treatment option for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. Humira is taken more often than Tremfya, and you may be more likely to have side effects with Humira. Talk with your doctor about the treatment options that are best for you.

Costs

Tremfya and Humira are both brand-name drugs. Tremfya isn't currently available in biosimilar form. But Humira has four biosimilars: Amjevita, Cyltezo, Hadlima, and Hyrimoz. They may cost less than Humira and Tremfya.

A biosimilar is a medication that's similar to a brand-name drug. A generic medication, on the other hand, is an exact copy of a brand-name drug. Biosimilars are based on biologic medications, which are made from parts of living organisms by using advanced technology. Generics are based on regular medications, which are made from chemicals. Biosimilars and generics also usually cost less than brand-name drugs.

According to estimates on GoodRx.com, Tremfya and Humira generally cost about the same over time. The actual price you'll pay for either drug depends on your insurance plan, location, and the pharmacy you use.

Plaque psoriasis occurs when your immune system is extremely active. (Your immune system normally protects your body from infection.) As a result, your body creates too many skin cells, which leads to buildup and inflammation (swelling). These skin cells form in hardened areas on your skin called plaques.

Tremfya is part of a class of medications called biologics, which are made from parts of living organisms by using advanced technology. (A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way). Tremfya is also a monoclonal antibody, which is a type of protein that attaches to substances in the body. All monoclonal antibodies are considered to be biologics. Biologic drugs affect the body's immune system in different ways depending on the drug.

Tremfya works by binding to interleukin-23 (a protein in the body) that is overactive in people with plaque psoriasis. By binding to this protein, Tremfya decreases how active your immune system is to ease inflammation and help skin heal.

How long does it take to work?

In clinical studies, people saw results after taking three doses of Tremfya over 16 weeks. Researchers looked at adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis who took Tremfya or a placebo (no treatment). After 16 weeks, psoriasis symptoms cleared up entirely or eased in 84% to 85% of people who took Tremfya. This was compared to 7% to 8% of people who took a placebo.

Tremfya can interact with several other medications. Different interactions can cause different effects. For instance, some interactions can interfere with how well a drug works. Other interactions increase the number of side effects or make them more severe.

Tremfya and other medications

Below is a list of medications that can interact with Tremfya. This list doesn't contain all drugs that may interact with Tremfya.

Before taking Tremfya, be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.

If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Tremfya and the flu shot

Getting the nasal spray version of the flu vaccine (FluMist) while taking Tremfya may cause you to have an infection. This is because the nasal spray version of the flu shot is a live vaccine. Live vaccines contain a weakened form of a virus or bacteria. If your immune system (your body's protection against infection) is healthy, live vaccines shouldn't make you sick. But taking Tremfya may weaken your immune system. So your body may not be able to fight the virus or bacteria in the vaccine as your body usually would.

However, other forms of the flu vaccine that you receive as an injection may be safe for you to get. Ask your doctor which type of flu vaccine is right for you.

Tremfya and live vaccines

Getting live vaccines while taking Tremfya may cause you to have an infection. Live vaccines contain a weakened form of a virus or bacteria. If your immune system is healthy, live vaccines shouldn't make you sick. But taking Tremfya may weaken your immune system. So your body may not be able to fight the virus or bacteria in the vaccine as your body usually would.

Examples of live vaccines that you should avoid include:

However, it's safe to get non-live (inactive) vaccines during your Tremfya treatment. These vaccines don't have any live viruses in them.

Before you start to take Tremfya, ask your doctor if you need any vaccines. It's best to get these vaccines before you start your Tremfya treatment or get a non-live form while you take Tremfya.

Tremfya and herbs and supplements

There aren't any herbs or supplements that have been specifically reported to interact with Tremfya. However, you should still check with your doctor or pharmacist before using any of these products while taking Tremfya.

You should take Tremfya according to your doctor or healthcare provider's instructions.

Tremfya is available in two forms: a prefilled syringe and a One-Press injector. One form may be easier for you to use, so ask your doctor which form is right for you.

The medication is given as an injection just under your skin (subcutaneous). A healthcare provider will usually give you your first dose. Then they can show you or your caregiver how to give injections at home. Also, the Tremfya website has instructions and videos to help you learn how to use Tremfya.

Take Tremfya out of the refrigerator to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before each dose. This will help the injection feel more comfortable.

Be sure to look at the medication to make sure it's not cloudy or discolored. If it is, dispose of the syringe or injector properly and use a new one.

After your injection, throw away the device and needle in an approved sharps container after use. (See the "Tremfya expiration, storage, and disposal" section below to learn more.)

Each prefilled syringe or One-Press injector holds only one dose. Don't reuse either of them or try to give yourself more than one dose.

When to take

Your first dose of Tremfya will be a 100-mg injection. After 4 weeks, you'll have another 100-mg injection. Then you'll have a 100-mg injection once every 8 weeks.

To help make sure that you don't miss a dose, try putting your treatment schedule on a calendar. You can also set a reminder on your phone.

It's not known if Tremfya is safe to take during pregnancy. Studies on how Tremfya may affect pregnant women and their babies aren't available. But it's thought that the drug may pass from mother to baby during pregnancy.

If you're pregnant or want to become pregnant, talk with your doctor before taking Tremfya. They can discuss the pros and cons of the medication with you.

It's not known if Tremfya is safe to take during pregnancy. So if you're sexually active and you or your sexual partner can become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your birth control needs while you're using Tremfya.

It's not known if it's safe to breastfeed while taking Tremfya. There are no studies of mothers who took Tremfya while breastfeeding. In animal studies, Tremfya didn't pass through breast milk to the baby. But this doesn't mean that the same result would occur in humans.

If you're breastfeeding and interested in taking Tremfya, talk with your doctor. They can help you weigh the pros and cons of the medication.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Tremfya.

How often will I need to have Tremfya injections?

After your first dose of Tremfya, you'll have one dose 4 weeks later. Then you'll have one dose of Tremfya every 8 weeks.

Tremfya is available in two forms: a prefilled syringe and a One-Press injector. The medication is given as an injection just under your skin (subcutaneous). A healthcare provider will give you your first dose. Then they can show you or your caregiver how to give injections at home.

If you have any questions about your treatment schedule, ask your doctor.

Will I still need to use topical skin treatments if I use Tremfya?

You might. Topical skin treatments are medications that you put on your skin. Your doctor may want you to use topical treatments with Tremfya if your plaque psoriasis symptoms are severe. Or your doctor may want you to use a topical until Tremfya provides more relief on its own.

Some topical treatments for plaque psoriasis need to be prescribed by a doctor. But others are available without a prescription (over the counter).

Topical treatments that you get over the counter often include either salicylic acid or coal tar. Salicylic acid can help skin peel to lift psoriasis scales. And coal tar can help slow the growth of skin cells and ease itching.

You can also get mild topical corticosteroid creams over the counter, but higher-strength creams require a prescription. Corticosteroids can help ease inflammation (swelling).

If your symptoms are mild, you may only need topical treatment. But if your symptoms are moderate to severe, you may need an injectable medication such as Tremfya with a topical drug. Your doctor will work to create a medication plan that's right for you.

If you have questions about any of your psoriasis medications, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Which vaccines aren't safe to get while I'm taking Tremfya?

While you take Tremfya, avoid getting live (inactive) vaccines. These vaccines contain a weakened form of a virus or bacteria. If your immune system (your body's protection against infection) is healthy, live vaccines shouldn't make you sick. But taking Tremfya may weaken your immune system. So your body may not be able to fight the virus or bacteria in the vaccine as your body usually would.

Examples of live vaccines that you should avoid include:

However, it's safe to get non-live (inactive) vaccines during your Tremfya treatment. These vaccines don't have any live viruses in them. Examples of inactive vaccines include:

Before you start to take Tremfya, ask your doctor if you need any vaccines. It's best to get these vaccines before you start your Tremfya treatment or get a non-live form while you take Tremfya.

Before taking Tremfya, talk with you r doctor about your health history. Tremfya may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors affecting your health. These include:

  • Infections. Taking Tremfya may make you more likely to develop an infection. This is because the drug may weaken your immune system (your body's defense against infection). Your doctor will need to treat any infections you have before you can start taking Tremfya. If you develop symptoms of an infection (such as fever, extreme tiredness, or muscle aches) when taking Tremfya, tell your doctor.
  • Tuberculosis (TB). If you've had the lung infection tuberculosis (TB) in the past, taking Tremfya could make it active again and cause symptoms. So your doctor may give you medication for TB before you start taking Tremfya. They'll likely test you for TB before you start Tremfya treatment. When taking Tremfya, tell your doctor if you have any possible symptoms of TB, such as extreme tiredness or a cough.
  • Pregnancy. It's not known whether Tremfya is safe to take during pregnancy. For more information, please see the "Tremfya and pregnancy" section above.
  • Breastfeeding. It's not known if it's safe to breastfeed while taking Tremfya. For more information, please see the "Tremfya and breastfeeding" section above.

Note: For more information about the potential negative effects of Tremfya, see the "Tremfya side effects" section above.

Using more than the recommended dosage of Tremfya can lead to serious side effects. See the "Tremfya side effects" section above to learn more.

What to do in case of overdose

If you think you've taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or seek guidance from the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or through their online tool. But if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

When you get Tremfya from the pharmacy, the pharmacist will add an expiration date to the label on the package. This date is typically 1 year from the date they dispensed the medication.

The expiration date helps guarantee the effectiveness of the medication during this time. The current stance of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is to avoid using expired medications. If you have unused medication that has gone past the expiration date, talk to your pharmacist about whether you might still be able to use it.

Storage

How long a medication remains good can depend on many factors, including how and where you store the medication. You should store Tremfya in the refrigerator in the original packaging. Be sure to protect the drug from light. And don't shake or freeze Tremfya.

Disposal

Tremfya syringes and injectors are made for single-use only. You'll need to dispose of them in an approved sharps container after each injection. Don't throw syringes, injectors, and needles away in the regular trash or recycling containers. This is because other people could get pricked by accident.

If you no longer need to take Tremfya and have leftover medication, it's important to dispose of it safely. This helps prevent others, including children, from taking the drug by accident. Proper disposal also helps keep Tremfya from harming the environment.

The FDA website provides several useful tips on medication disposal. You can also ask your pharmacist for information on how to dispose of your medication.

The following information is provided for clinicians and other healthcare professionals.

Indications

Tremfya is indicated for the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in adults who are candidates for phototherapy or systemic therapy.

Mechanism of action

Tremfya is a human immunoglobulin G1 lambda (IgG1-lambda) monoclonal antibody and an interleukin-23 inhibitor. It attaches to the p19 subunit of interleukin-23 and blocks its receptor activity. This inhibits the release of inflammation-causing substances such as cytokines and chemokines and helps modulate the overactive immune response of psoriasis.

Pharmacokinetics and metabolism

The precise mechanism of metabolism is currently unknown. In studies, peak serum concentrations were reached 5.5 days after administration of the drug. The average half-life of Tremfya is about 2 weeks (15 to 18 days).

Clinical studies indicate that clearance of Tremfya is not affected by age or weight, so dose adjustments do not appear to be necessary at this time. Studies to determine the impact of liver and kidney dysfunction on Tremfya metabolism and clearance are needed.

Contraindications

Tremfya is contraindicated in people who have had a serious allergic reaction to Tremfya or any of its ingredients in the past.

Storage

Tremfya should be protected from light and stored in the refrigerator 36 to 46°F (2 to 8°C). It should not be frozen or shaken. Prior to administration, it should be inspected for large particles, cloudiness, or discoloration.

Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.