Cosentyx is a brand-name injection that’s prescribed for plaque psoriasis and certain kinds of arthritis. Cosentyx contains the active drug secukinumab and belongs to the monoclonal antibody drug class.

Cosentyx is FDA-approved to treat:

Drug details

Cosentyx contains secukinumab. This is a type of drug called a biologic, which is made from a living or natural source. Cosentyx is a kind of biologic called a monoclonal antibody.

Monoclonal antibodies are proteins that work to decrease inflammation. This includes the inflammation that causes the conditions Cosentyx treats.

Cosentyx is an injectable drug that comes as a solution in three single-use forms:

  • an UnoReady pen
  • a Sensoready pen
  • a prefilled syringe

All forms of Cosentyx are given as a subcutaneous injection.

At first, your healthcare professional will give you the injection. After that, you can learn how to give yourself injections at home.

Effectiveness

Clinical trials looked at the following three conditions to determine how effective Cosentyx is:

  • Plaque psoriasis. Clinical trials looked at people with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. About 80% of people who took Cosentyx had their psoriasis symptoms ease by at least 75% after 12 weeks. In comparison, about 4% of people who took a placebo (treatment with no active drug) had their psoriasis symptoms ease by at least 75% after 12 weeks.
  • Psoriatic arthritis. Clinical trials also looked at people with psoriatic arthritis. After 16 weeks of treatment, up to 60% of people who took Cosentyx had their symptoms ease by at least 20%. In comparison, 18% of people who took a placebo had their symptoms ease by at least 20% after 16 weeks.
  • Ankylosing spondylitis. Ankylosing spondylitis was also studied in clinical trials. After 16 weeks, 61% of people who took Cosentyx had their symptoms ease by at least 20%. In comparison, 28% of people who took a placebo had their symptoms ease by at least 20% after 16 weeks.

To learn about the effectiveness of Cosentyx for other conditions, see the “Cosentyx uses” section below.

Cosentyx can cause mild or serious side effects. The following lists contain some of the key side effects that may occur while taking Cosentyx. These lists don’t include all possible side effects.

For more information on the possible side effects of Cosentyx, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you tips on how to manage any side effects that may be concerning or bothersome. You can also refer to this article for detailed information about Cosentyx’s side effects: Cosentyx side effects: What you should know.

Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks side effects of drugs it has approved. If you would like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Cosentyx, you can do so through MedWatch.

More common side effects

The more common side effects of Cosentyx, which are described in “Side effect details” below, 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 Cosentyx 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 and their symptoms can include the following:

  • Infection. This can include severe respiratory infections such as bronchitis, and fungal infections such as candidiasis. Symptoms can include:
    • fever
    • diarrhea
    • feeling tired
    • throat pain
    • stuffy nose
    • itchy skin rash
  • Allergic reaction.* Symptoms can include:
    • trouble breathing
    • hives
    • swelling of the lips or face
  • Ulcerative colitis (inflammation of your large intestine).* Symptoms can include:
    • diarrhea, sometimes with bleeding
    • weight loss
    • abdominal pain
    • feeling tired
  • Eczematous eruptions (skin reactions that resemble eczema and can lead to hospitalization). Symptoms include:†
    • patches of skin that are scaly and dry
    • sores
    • skin discoloration
    • itchiness
    • rash

* To learn more about this side effect, see “Side effect details” below.
† This side effect was not reported in studies of Cosentyx. But it was reported after the drug was approved.

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.

Below, we describe how often some side effects occurred in people with certain conditions during clinical trials. If you’d like to know more about how often side effects occurred, view the drug’s prescribing information. Or talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, some people can have an allergic reaction after taking Cosentyx.

Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. In clinical trials, about 1% of people who took Cosentyx for plaque psoriasis developed hives (itchy welts on your skin). In comparison, 0.1% of people who took a placebo (treatment with no active drug) experienced this side effect. It’s unknown how many people developed hives while taking Cosentyx for other conditions during the drug’s trials.

Some people in clinical trials also developed anaphylaxis, a type of serious allergic reaction. How often an allergic reaction occurs may differ based on the condition you’re taking Cosentyx to treat.

Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include:

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

Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to Cosentyx, as the reaction could become severe. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Diarrhea

You may have diarrhea when taking Cosentyx.

In clinical trials involving plaque psoriasis, 4.1% of people who took 300 mg of Cosentyx had diarrhea. This is compared to 2.6% of people who took 150 mg of Cosentyx or 1.4% of people who took a placebo (treatment with no active drug). Diarrhea was not a common side effect in people taking Cosentyx for either psoriatic arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis.

How often diarrhea occurs may differ based on what condition you’re taking Cosentyx to treat. If you’re concerned about diarrhea while taking Cosentyx, talk with your doctor. They may be able to reduce your dose of the drug, which may help relieve diarrhea.

Headache

Headache is a possible side effect of Cosentyx. This side effect may be more common among people who take Cosentyx for psoriatic arthritis. In clinical trials, headache wasn’t a common side effect in people who took Cosentyx for the other conditions the drug is prescribed to treat.

If you’re taking Cosentyx and your headaches are very bothersome or don’t go away, talk with your doctor. They can suggest ways to ease your headache pain.

Colds

You may be more likely to get a cold while taking Cosentyx.

Over a 12-week period in clinical trials, about 12% of people who took Cosentyx for plaque psoriasis developed a cold. In comparison, less than 9% of people who took a placebo (treatment with no active drug) developed this side effect.

Colds also occurred more often in people who took Cosentyx for psoriatic arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis than in people who took a placebo. The colds weren’t serious infections.

How often you get a cold while taking Cosentyx may depend on what condition the medication is treating. If you develop a cold that’s taking a long time to go away or is bothersome, talk with your doctor.

Ulcerative colitis

Ulcerative colitis is a very rare side effect that may occur when you take Cosentyx. Ulcerative colitis is a condition that causes inflammation in your colon (large intestine).

Over a 12-month period in clinical trials, 2 of 3,430 people who took Cosentyx for plaque psoriasis had new cases of ulcerative colitis. There were no new cases of ulcerative colitis seen in the placebo group, which didn’t receive treatment.

Clinical trials also showed that people who already had ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease had flare-ups of their condition while taking Cosentyx. (Like ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease is a kind of inflammatory bowel disease.) These flare-ups were very rare and occurred in 5 of 3,430 people who took Cosentyx for plaque psoriasis. There were no cases of ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease flare-ups in the placebo group, which didn’t receive Cosentyx treatment.

If you’re concerned about new or worsening ulcerative colitis while taking Cosentyx, talk with your doctor. They may monitor you for signs of ulcerative colitis. But if you already have the condition, your doctor may suggest a treatment other than Cosentyx.

Cancer

Currently, there’s no link between Cosentyx and cancer. But taking Cosentyx may increase the risk of developing cancer. This is because Cosentyx may reduce your immune system activity.

With a reduced immune system, it’s harder for your body to recognize when your cells aren’t growing properly. Usually, your immune system helps prevent cancer cells from starting to multiply. But if your immune system isn’t working properly, cancer cells may grow more easily.

There are no studies showing whether Cosentyx increases or decreases the risk of cancer in humans.

If you’re concerned about developing cancer while taking Cosentyx, talk with your doctor.

Skin rash

A skin rash is a possible rare side effect of taking Cosentyx. If you develop a rash or hives (itchy welts on your skin) after taking Cosentyx, you may have an allergy to the medication. A rash may also be a symptom of an eczematous eruption, which is a serious skin reaction that resembles eczema.*

In clinical trials, about 1% of people who took Cosentyx for plaque psoriasis developed hives. In comparison, about 0.1% of people who took a placebo (treatment with no active drug) experienced this side effect. Depending on what condition you’re taking Cosentyx to treat, side effects may be slightly different.

If you develop a rash while taking Cosentyx, ask your doctor if it could be due to the drug. They can look at how serious the rash is and whether you have other symptoms of an allergic reaction. Then your doctor can decide whether you should keep taking Cosentyx. Your doctor or pharmacist may also be able to recommend ways to ease your rash.

* This side effect was not reported in studies of Cosentyx. But it was reported after the drug was approved.

Weight loss or weight gain (not side effects)

Weight loss and weight gain aren’t side effects of Cosentyx. In clinical trials, Cosentyx didn’t increase or decrease people’s weight in any way. However, other medications in the same class as Cosentyx can cause weight changes. (A drug class is a group of medications that work in a similar way.)

If you do experience weight loss with Cosentyx, it could indicate an infection. Keep in mind that Cosentyx may increase your risk of infection. Be sure to tell your doctor if you experience any weight loss or other symptoms of an infection. (See the “Serious side effects” list above for examples of symptoms.)

If you’re concerned about weight loss or weight gain, talk with your doctor. They can recommend ways to help you manage a weight that is healthy for you.

Fatigue (not a side effect)

Fatigue isn’t a side effect of Cosentyx. In clinical trials, Cosentyx wasn’t shown to cause fatigue. However, other medications used to treat plaque psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, including ustekinumab (Stelara), can cause fatigue.

If you’re concerned about fatigue, talk with your doctor. They can suggest ways to help improve your energy level.

Depression (not a side effect)

Depression isn’t a side effect caused by Cosentyx. Clinical trials haven’t shown any link between the use of Cosentyx and developing depression. However, other medications used to treat plaque psoriasis, such as brodalumab (Siliq), may increase your risk of depression.

If you’re concerned about depression, talk with your doctor. They can find out whether you do have depression and suggest treatments that may help.

Hair loss (not a side effect)

Hair loss isn’t a side effect of taking Cosentyx. In clinical trials of Cosentyx, there were no reports of people losing their hair. However, if you have scalp psoriasis, hair loss can happen due to itching and irritating the area where the roots of your hair grow. Usually, hair loss due to itching isn’t permanent, and your hair will grow back.

If you’re concerned about hair loss, talk with your doctor. They can help determine the cause and suggest ways to treat it.

Joint pain (not a side effect)

Joint pain isn’t a side effect of Cosentyx. However, joint pain may be a side effect of other medications used to treat plaque psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, or ankylosing spondylitis. Examples of medications that may cause joint pain include adalimumab (Humira) and ustekinumab (Stelara).

If you’re concerned about joint pain, talk with your doctor. They can suggest treatments to help you feel more comfortable.

The Cosentyx dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on the type and severity of the condition you’re using Cosentyx to treat.

Sometimes, your doctor may start you on a higher dose of Cosentyx at the beginning of your treatment. This is called a loading dose. A loading dose is used so that there’s enough medication in your body to start working right away. Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.

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.

In addition to the information below, you can refer to this article for details about Cosentyx dosage: Cosentyx dosage guide.

Drug forms and strengths

Cosentyx is given as a subcutaneous injection. The following table describes the drug’s forms and strengths:

FormStrengths
solution in a single-use UnoReady pen• 300 milligrams per 2 milliliters (mg/mL)
solution in a single-use Sensoready pen• 150 mg/mL
solution in a single-use prefilled syringe• 300 mg/2 mL
• 150 mg/mL
• 75 mg/0.5 mL (for use in certain children)

At first, your healthcare professional will give you the injection. Once they train you, you’ll be able to give yourself injections at home with an injection pen or the prefilled syringe. One form may be easier for you to use than another. Ask your doctor which form of Cosentyx is best for you.

Dosage for plaque psoriasis

The recommended dosage for plaque psoriasis in adults is 300 mg once per week for 5 weeks. After week 5, you’ll receive a 300-mg dose of Cosentyx once every 4 weeks. Doses may be given as one 300-mg injection or as two 150-mg injections.

For information about dosages used in children, see the “Children’s dosage” section below.

Dosage for psoriatic arthritis

For adults with both plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, the recommended dosage is 300 mg once per week for 5 weeks. After 5 weeks, you’ll receive a 300-mg dose once every 4 weeks. Doses may be given as one 300-mg injection or as two 150-mg injections.

For adults with only active psoriatic arthritis, there are two different ways to take Cosentyx. Depending on how severe your condition is, your doctor may give you a loading dose.* You’ll have a 150-mg injection once per week for 5 weeks. Then you’ll have a 150-mg injection every 4 weeks.

If your doctor doesn’t think that a loading dose is the right option, you’ll have a 150-mg injection every 4 weeks.

In some cases, you may still have symptoms of psoriatic arthritis with 150-mg doses of Cosentyx. So your doctor may increase your dosage to 300 mg every 4 weeks.

For information about dosages used in children, see the “Children’s dosage” section below.

* A loading dose is a higher dose of medication at the beginning of treatment so that the drug can start working more quickly.

Dosage for ankylosing spondylitis

There are two different ways adults can take Cosentyx for ankylosing spondylitis.

Depending on how severe your condition is, your doctor may give you a loading dose.* You’ll have a 150-mg injection once per week for 5 weeks. Then you’ll have a 150-mg injection every 4 weeks.

The second way to take Cosentyx is without a loading dose. You’ll have a 150-mg injection every 4 weeks.

In some cases, you may still have symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis with single 150-mg injections of Cosentyx. So your doctor may increase your dosage to 300 mg every 4 weeks. This dose may be given as one 300-mg injection or as two 150-mg injections.

* A loading dose is a higher dose of medication at the beginning of treatment so that the drug can start working more quickly.

Dosage for non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis

There are two different ways adults can take Cosentyx for non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis.

Depending on how severe your condition is, your doctor may give you a loading dose.* You’ll have a 150-mg injection once per week for 5 weeks. Then you’ll have a 150-mg injection every 4 weeks.

The second way to take Cosentyx is without a loading dose. You’ll have a 150-mg injection every 4 weeks.

* A loading dose is a higher dose of medication at the beginning of treatment so that the drug can start working more quickly.

Dosage for enthesitis-related arthritis

The recommended dose for enthesitis-related arthritis varies with body weight as follows:

  • For adults who weigh 15 kilograms (about 33 pounds) to less than 50 kilograms (about 110 pounds), the dose is 75 mg.
  • For adults who weigh 50 kilograms or more, the dose is 150 mg.

For treating enthesitis-related arthritis, Cosentyx doses are given once per week for 5 weeks. After week 5, you’ll receive your Cosentyx dose once every 4 weeks.

For information about dosages used in children, see the “Children’s dosage” section below.

Children’s dosage

Recommended Cosentyx dosages for children are described below.

Children’s dosage for plaque psoriasis

The recommended dose for plaque psoriasis in children is based on body weight as follows:

  • For children weighing less than 50 kilograms (about 110 pounds), the dose is 75 mg.
  • For children weighing 50 kilograms or more, the dose is 150 mg.

Cosentyx doses are given once per week for 5 weeks. After week 5, Cosentyx doses are given once every 4 weeks.

Children’s dosage for psoriatic arthritis

The recommended dose for psoriatic arthritis in children is based on body weight as follows:

  • For children weighing 15 kilograms (about 33 pounds) to less than 50 kilograms (about 110 pounds), the dose is 75 mg.
  • For children weighing 50 kilograms or more, the dose is 150 mg.

Cosentyx doses are given once per week for 5 weeks. After week 5, Cosentyx doses are given once every 4 weeks.

Children’s dosage for enthesitis-related arthritis

The recommended dose for enthesitis-related arthritis in children is based on body weight as follows:

  • For children weighing 15 kilograms (about 33 pounds) to less than 50 kilograms (about 110 pounds), the dose is 75 mg.
  • For children weighing 50 kilograms or more, the dose is 150 mg.

Cosentyx doses are given once per week for 5 weeks. After week 5, Cosentyx doses are given once every 4 weeks.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Cosentyx, have your injection as soon as you remember. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about when to take your next dose.

To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or putting a note where you’ll see it, such as on your bathroom mirror or bedside table. You could also download a reminder app on your phone.

Will I need to use this drug long term?

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

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as Cosentyx to treat certain conditions. Cosentyx may also be prescribed off-label for other conditions. Off-label use is when a drug that’s approved to treat one condition is prescribed to treat a different condition.

Cosentyx for plaque psoriasis

Plaque psoriasis is a condition that causes itchy patches (plaques) to form on your skin. Plaques are created when skin cells build up too quickly. Plaque psoriasis is the most common type of psoriasis.

Cosentyx is approved to treat moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in adults and children ages 6 years and older. It’s used in people who may need phototherapy or systemic therapy. Phototherapy uses light to treat psoriasis plaques. Systemic therapy is medication that works throughout your entire body to stop plaques from forming.

For details about this condition, you can refer to this article: Cosentyx for psoriasis. You can also visit our psoriasis hub.

Effectiveness for plaque psoriasis

The National Psoriasis Foundation defines moderate to severe plaque psoriasis as having psoriasis on more than 3% of your body surface. As a guide, one of your hands (including all five fingers and your palm) equals about 1% of your body surface.

In clinical trials of Cosentyx, the drug was shown to be effective at treating moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. After taking 300 mg of Cosentyx for 12 weeks, about 80% of people with plaque psoriasis saw their psoriasis symptoms ease by at least 75%. In comparison, about 4% of people who took a placebo (treatment with no active drug) saw their symptoms ease by at least 75% after 12 weeks.

Cosentyx for psoriatic arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis (swelling of the joints) that can affect people with psoriasis. Psoriatic arthritis occurs when your immune system attacks your joints and causes them to swell. Psoriatic arthritis can affect any joints in your body and cause them to become painful and swollen. For details about this condition, you can refer to our arthritis hub.

Cosentyx is approved for use in adults and children ages 2 years and older with active psoriatic arthritis. (“Active” means that you currently have symptoms.)

Effectiveness for psoriatic arthritis

Clinical trials of Cosentyx have looked at people with active psoriatic arthritis. Over 16 weeks, symptoms eased by at least 20% in up to 60% of people who took Cosentyx. In comparison, symptoms eased by at least 20% in 18% of people who took a placebo (treatment with no active drug) over 16 weeks.

Clinical trials also showed that Cosentyx stopped joint damage from getting worse 6 months after the start of treatment.

Cosentyx for ankylosing spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis that affects your spine. The condition occurs when your immune system attacks the joints in your spine, causing them to swell and become painful.

Symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis include stiffness, back pain, and being less flexible. You may also have a hunched posture if you have ankylosing spondylitis.

Cosentyx is approved for use in adults with ankylosing spondylitis.

Effectiveness for ankylosing spondylitis

In clinical trials, about 61% of people had less pain and stiffness after taking Cosentyx for 16 weeks. In comparison, about 28% of people who took a placebo (treatment with no active drug) had less pain and stiffness after 16 weeks.

Cosentyx for non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis

Spondyloarthritis is a type of arthritis that affects the spine and pelvis. Non-radiographic means its effects in the body aren’t seen on X-rays.

With spondyloarthritis, you may have back and hip pain. You could also have pain in other areas of your body if they’re affected by inflammation from this condition.

For non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis, Cosentyx is used in adults.

Effectiveness for non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis

In clinical trials, Cosentyx was effective in treating non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis. To learn how the drug performed in the trials, see its prescribing information.

Additionally, secukinumab is mentioned in treatment guidelines from the American College of Rheumatology for certain people with this condition. (Keep in mind that secukinumab is the active drug in Cosentyx.)

Cosentyx for enthesitis-related arthritis

Enthesitis is inflammation that affects the entheses. These are areas on the bones where the tendons and ligaments attach.

With enthesitis, you may have pain, stiffness, and swelling in the affected joint.

For enthesitis-related arthritis, Cosentyx is used in adults and children ages 4 years and older.

Effectiveness for enthesitis-related arthritis

In clinical trials, Cosentyx was effective in treating this condition. To learn how the drug performed in the trials, see its prescribing information.

Off-label use for Cosentyx

In addition to the uses listed above, Cosentyx may be prescribed off-label for other uses. Off-label drug use is when a drug that’s approved for one use is prescribed for a different one that’s not approved.

Cosentyx for rheumatoid arthritis

Cosentyx may be prescribed off-label for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). With RA, swelling occurs in your joints, especially in your hands and feet. And your immune system is overactive.

A pooled analysis of three clinical studies looked at Cosentyx in people with RA. Researchers found that some doses of Cosentyx were effective for easing RA symptoms in people for whom other medications weren’t effective.

In the future, Cosentyx may be an option for people with RA because the drug can help slow down swelling in joints. However, Cosentyx hasn’t yet been approved for the treatment of RA. More studies are needed to show whether Cosentyx is safe and effective for treating RA.

As with all medications, the cost of Cosentyx can vary. The price you’ll pay depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use. You can refer to this article for details about the cost of Cosentyx treatment: Cosentyx (secukinumab) and cost.

Drug coupons

You may be able to use Optum Perks coupons* to save on the cost of Cosentyx. See below for Optum Perks coupon options in your area. You can also visit Optum Perks to get price estimates of what you’d pay for Cosentyx when using coupons from the site.

Save on your Cosentyx prescription with Optum Perks

Save on Cosentyx Unoready without insurance.

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Retail price refers to the manufacturer’s published list price and is up to date as of 3/2023. Retail and discounted prices are U.S.-only and can vary based on region and pharmacy. We cannot guarantee that the discounted price listed here will exactly match the price at your pharmacy. Please contact your pharmacy for the exact price.

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Financial and insurance assistance

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

The manufacturer of Cosentyx offers a program called Cosentyx Connect. This program may help lower the cost of your medication. For more information and to find out if you’re eligible for support, visit the program website.

Cosentyx is available only as a brand-name medication. It contains the active drug secukinumab.

Cosentyx 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. Generics are based on regular medications, which are made from chemicals. Biosimilars and generics also usually cost less than brand-name drugs.

Sometimes Cosentyx is prescribed with other medications to help make your treatment more effective.

For example, if you have psoriatic arthritis, you may take oral medications along with Cosentyx. These include methotrexate (Trexall) or hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil). The combination of Cosentyx and an oral medication may be more effective in treating psoriatic arthritis than taking Cosentyx alone.

Cosentyx should never be taken at the same time as other biologic medications, such as adalimumab (Humira), etanercept (Enbrel), or ustekinumab (Stelara). This is because taking more than one biologic medication increases your risk of side effects, such as serious infections. It’s very important that your doctor and pharmacist know all the medications and supplements that you’re taking with Cosentyx.

Other drugs are available that can treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. If you’re interested in finding an alternative to Cosentyx, talk with your doctor. They can tell you about other medications that may work well for you.

Note: Some of the drugs listed here are prescribed off-label to treat these specific conditions.

Alternatives for plaque psoriasis

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat plaque psoriasis include:

Alternatives for psoriatic arthritis

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat psoriatic arthritis include:

  • etanercept (Enbrel)
  • adalimumab (Humira)
  • infliximab (Remicade)
  • apremilast (Otezla)
  • ixekizumab (Taltz)
  • ustekinumab (Stelara)
  • certolizumab (Cimzia)
  • methotrexate (Trexall)

Alternatives for ankylosing spondylitis

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat ankylosing spondylitis include:

  • adalimumab (Humira)
  • etanercept (Enbrel)
  • infliximab (Remicade)
  • certolizumab (Cimzia)

Alternatives for non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis include:

  • certolizumab (Cimzia)
  • ixekizumab (Taltz)
  • etanercept (Enbrel)

Alternatives for enthesitis-related arthritis

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat enthesitis-related arthritis include:

  • adalimumab (Humira)
  • etanercept (Enbrel)
  • methotrexate (Trexall)

You may wonder how Cosentyx compares with other medications that are prescribed for similar uses. Here we look at how Cosentyx and Humira are alike and different. To learn more about how these drugs compare, see this article: Cosentyx vs. Humira.

Uses

Both Cosentyx and Humira are approved to treat moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in adults who may need phototherapy or systemic therapy.* Cosentyx also treats this condition in children ages 6 years and older.

Both Cosentyx and Humira are also approved for use in adults with active psoriatic arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis. “Active” means that you currently have symptoms. Cosentyx also treats psoriatic arthritis in children ages 2 years and older.

In addition to these conditions, Cosentyx also treats:

To learn more about Cosentyx’s approved uses, see the “Cosentyx uses” section above.

Humira is also approved to treat:

* Phototherapy uses light to treat psoriasis plaques. Systemic therapy is medication that works throughout your entire body to stop plaques from forming.

Drug forms and administration

Cosentyx contains the drug secukinumab. Humira contains the drug adalimumab.

Both Cosentyx and Humira are given as a subcutaneous injection. At first, your healthcare professional will give you the injection. Once they train you, you’ll be able to give yourself injections at home.

How often you’ll take doses of either drug depends on the condition you’re treating and your age. Your doctor can recommend the dosage of Cosentyx or Humira that’s right for you.

Side effects and risks

Cosentyx and Humira contain different active drugs but are in the same class of medications. (A drug class is a group of medications that work in a similar way.) As a result, these medications can cause similar and different 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 Cosentyx, with Humira, or with both drugs (when taken individually).

Serious side effects

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

* This side effect was not reported in studies of Cosentyx. But it was reported after the drug was approved.
Humira has a boxed warning regarding this risk. A boxed warning is the strongest warning required by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Boxed warnings alert doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Effectiveness

Cosentyx and Humira have some different FDA-approved uses, but they’re both used to treat plaque psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis.

Separate studies of the two drugs were compared in a larger review of studies. Researchers found that Cosentyx was more effective than Humira for treating plaque psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis.

A clinical trial compared Cosentyx and Humira in people with psoriatic arthritis. This trial didn’t show a difference in results between Cosentyx and Humira.

Costs

Cosentyx and Humira are both brand-name drugs. Cosentyx isn’t currently available in biosimilar form. But Humira has several biosimilars available. Examples include Hyrimoz, Idacio, Amjevita, and Hadlima. They may cost less than Humira and Cosentyx.

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. Generics are based on regular medications, which are made from chemicals. Biosimilars and generics also usually cost less than brand-name drugs.

The actual price you’ll pay for Cosentyx or Humira depends on your insurance plan, your location, the pharmacy you use, your dose of medication, and how often you are taking it.

In addition to Humira (described above), Stelara is another drug that has some uses similar to those of Cosentyx. Here we look at how Cosentyx and Stelara are alike and different. To learn more about how these drugs compare, see this article: Cosentyx vs. Stelara.

Uses

Both Cosentyx and Stelara are approved to treat moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in people who may need phototherapy or systemic therapy.* Cosentyx and Stelara treat this condition in adults and children ages 6 years and older.

Cosentyx and Stelara are both approved to treat psoriatic arthritis in adults and certain children. Cosentyx can be used for this purpose in children ages 2 years and older. And Stelara can be used in children ages 6 years and older with psoriatic arthritis.

In addition to these conditions, Cosentyx also treats:

To learn more about Cosentyx’s approved uses, see the “Cosentyx uses” section above.

Stelara is also approved for use in adults to treat:

* Phototherapy uses light to treat psoriasis plaques. Systemic therapy is medication that works throughout your entire body to stop plaques from forming.

Drug forms and administration

Cosentyx contains the drug secukinumab. Stelara contains the drug ustekinumab.

Cosentyx is given as a subcutaneous injection. At first, your healthcare professional will give you the injection. Once they train you, you’ll be able to give yourself injections at home.

Stelara is also given as a subcutaneous injection. For adults, your healthcare professional will give you the injection at first. Once they train you, you’ll be able to give yourself injections at home. But children should get all their Stelara injections from a healthcare professional.

For Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, Stelara is given as an IV infusion at the start of treatment. (An IV infusion is an injection that’s given into your vein over a period of time.) You’ll receive IV infusions from a healthcare professional. After this, the drug is taken as a subcutaneous injection.

How often you’ll take doses of either Cosentyx or Stelara depends on the condition you’re treating and your age. Your doctor can recommend the dosage of either drug that’s right for you.

Side effects and risks

Cosentyx and Stelara contain different active drug ingredients, but they belong to the same class of medications. Therefore, both medications can cause very similar side effects, and may have some different 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 Cosentyx, with Stelara, or with both drugs (when taken individually).

  • Can occur with Cosentyx:
    • rash
  • Can occur with Stelara:
  • Can occur with both Cosentyx and Stelara:
    • minor respiratory infections, such as the common cold
    • headache
    • diarrhea

Serious side effects

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

  • Can occur with Cosentyx:
  • Can occur with Stelara:
    • increased risk of cancers, such as skin cancer
    • depression
    • a rare brain condition called reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome (RPLS)
  • Can occur with both Cosentyx and Stelara:
    • serious allergic reactions
    • serious infections, including severe respiratory infections, such as pneumonia or bronchitis

* This side effect was not reported in studies of Cosentyx. But it was reported after the drug was approved.

Effectiveness

Cosentyx and Stelara have some different FDA-approved uses, but they’re both used to treat moderate to severe plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis in adults.

The use of Cosentyx and Stelara in treating moderate to severe plaque psoriasis has been directly compared in a clinical study. After 16 weeks of treatment, 76.6% of adults who took Cosentyx saw their symptoms ease by at least 90%. This was compared with adults who took Stelara.

After 16 weeks of treatment, 54.2% of adults who took Stelara had their symptoms ease by at least 90%. Therefore, the trial showed that Cosentyx was more effective than Stelara at treating moderate to severe plaque psoriasis at 16 weeks.

For their other approved uses, these drugs have each been shown to be effective in separate clinical trials. You can refer to the prescribing information for Stelara and Cosentyx for details.

Costs

Cosentyx and Stelara are both brand-name drugs. Neither drug is 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. Generics are based on regular medications, which are made from chemicals. Biosimilars and generics also usually cost less than brand-name drugs.

Cosentyx is generally less expensive than Stelara. The actual price you’ll pay for either drug depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

As with Humira and Stelara (discussed above), Taltz has some uses that are similar to those of Cosentyx.

Both Cosentyx and Taltz are used to treat plaque psoriasis in certain adults and children ages 6 years and older.

Cosentyx and Taltz are also both approved to treat psoriatic arthritis in adults. Cosentyx also treats this condition in children ages 2 years and older.

These medications are both approved to treat ankylosing spondylitis and non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis in adults.

Cosentyx is also approved to treat enthesitis-related arthritis in adults and children ages 4 years and older.

Both drugs are given as a subcutaneous injection.

To learn more about Cosentyx’s approved uses, see the “Cosentyx uses” section above.

If you’d like to see a side-by-side comparison of Cosentyx and Taltz, see “Taltz vs. Cosentyx” in this article. Talk with your doctor if you have questions about the treatment option that’s right for you.

Similar to Humira, Stelara, and Taltz (discussed above), Otezla has some shared uses with Cosentyx.

Both Cosentyx and Otezla are used to treat plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis in certain adults. Cosentyx also treats these conditions in certain children.

Cosentyx is also approved for treating:

Also, Otezla is used in adults to treat mouth ulcers related to Behçet’s disease.

Cosentyx is given as a subcutaneous injection. Otezla, on the other hand, comes as an oral tablet.

To learn more about Cosentyx’s approved uses, see the “Cosentyx uses” section above. If you’d like to read more about Otezla, see this article: Otezla: How it works.

If you have questions about the treatment that’s best for your condition, ask your doctor.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Cosentyx.

Can Cosentyx be used to treat eczema?

Not right now, but perhaps in the future. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t approved Cosentyx to treat eczema. However, Cosentyx was studied in a clinical trial for the treatment of eczema. Results of the trial haven’t been released yet, however.

If you have eczema, talk with your doctor. They can suggest treatments that may help.

Will I have withdrawal symptoms if I stop Cosentyx treatment?

If you stop taking Cosentyx, you shouldn’t have withdrawal symptoms. (Withdrawal symptoms can occur when you stop taking a drug your body depends on to function like usual.) However, once you stop taking the medication, symptoms of your condition may come back again.

To help prevent this, your doctor may slowly decrease your dose instead of stopping your treatment all at once.

If you’re concerned about withdrawal symptoms after you stop taking Cosentyx, talk with your doctor.

Should I avoid getting any vaccines if I’m taking Cosentyx?

Yes, you should avoid getting live vaccines while you take Cosentyx. These vaccines contain a weakened form of a bacteria or virus.

If you have a healthy immune system, live vaccines shouldn’t make you sick. However, Cosentyx may reduce your immune system activity. So your body may not be able to fight the bacteria or virus in the vaccine as well as usual.

Examples of live vaccines that you should avoid include:

However, inactive vaccines are safe to get during your Cosentyx treatment. These vaccines don’t have any live viruses in them. Examples of inactive vaccines include:

Before you start to take Cosentyx, talk with your doctor about any vaccines that you may need. It’s best to get these vaccines before you start your Cosentyx treatment.

Can I take Cosentyx if I’ve had tuberculosis?

Yes, but first you may need to be treated for tuberculosis (TB). TB is a lung disease, and even if you don’t have symptoms, TB can still be in your body if you’ve had it in the past.

Your doctor will need to treat the TB before you can start taking Cosentyx. This is because Cosentyx may reduce your immune system activity. As a result, your TB infection may become active again.

After you complete treatment for TB, you can start taking Cosentyx. While you take Cosentyx, your doctor may test you to make sure that the TB doesn’t become active (cause symptoms).

There’s no interaction between Cosentyx and alcohol. However, alcohol may negatively affect how well your body responds to treatment for plaque psoriasis.

Alcohol may also interact with other medications used to treat the conditions Cosentyx treats. These medications include methotrexate (Trexall), which is sometimes taken with Cosentyx for psoriatic arthritis. The combination of alcohol and methotrexate can cause severe liver damage.

If you drink alcohol, talk with your doctor. They can tell you how much alcohol is safe for you to drink while you take Cosentyx.

Cosentyx can interact with some vaccines. It isn’t known to interact with supplements or foods.

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

Cosentyx and other medications and vaccines

Below are vaccines that shouldn’t be taken during Cosentyx treatment. This article does not contain all the substances that may interact with Cosentyx.

Before taking Cosentyx, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Tell them 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 possible interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Cosentyx and vaccines

You shouldn’t get any live vaccines while taking Cosentyx. These vaccines contain a weakened form of a bacteria or virus.

If you have a healthy immune system, live vaccines shouldn’t make you sick. However, Cosentyx may reduce your immune system activity. So your body may not be able to fight the bacteria or virus in the vaccine as well as usual.

Examples of live vaccines that should be avoided while taking Cosentyx include:

Before you start to take Cosentyx, ask your doctor if you need to get any vaccines.

Antibiotics (not an interaction)

Cosentyx doesn’t interact with any antibiotics (drugs that treat infections caused by bacteria). But while you’re taking Cosentyx, the risk of developing an infection increases. This is because Cosentyx may reduce your immune system activity.

In clinical trials, over 12 weeks, about 29% of people who took Cosentyx for plaque psoriasis got an infection. In comparison, only about 19% of people who took a placebo (treatment with no active drug) got an infection.

If you do develop an infection while taking Cosentyx, you may need to be treated with antibiotics. Ask your doctor how you can help avoid infections during your treatment.

Cosentyx and herbs and supplements

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

You should take Cosentyx according to your doctor’s or another healthcare professional’s instructions.

You’ll get your first dose of Cosentyx at your doctor’s office. A healthcare professional may then teach you how to give yourself (or your child) injections at home.

The Cosentyx website has helpful videos about the proper way to give injections with the UnoReady pen, Sensoready pen, or prefilled syringe. You can also talk with a Cosentyx support specialist and get live virtual injection training. Call Cosentyx Connect at 844-COSENTYX (844-267-3689).

When to take

Depending on what condition you have and how long you’ve been treating it, you’ll take Cosentyx either once per week or once every 4 weeks. You should take Cosentyx on the same day each week or month.

Cosentyx treats the following conditions, which all involve inflammation in your body:

Cosentyx works by slowing down activity, which can cause inflammation. To learn more about how Cosentyx works for these conditions, see this article: Cosentyx: How it works.

Cosentyx hasn’t been studied in pregnant people. So there isn’t enough data to show whether the medication is safe to take during pregnancy.

Studies in animals show that there was no effect on the development of offspring exposed to Cosentyx. However, animal studies don’t always predict what happens in humans.

If you’re pregnant or are planning to become pregnant, talk with your doctor. They can help you decide whether Cosentyx is right for you.

It’s not known whether Cosentyx is safe to take during pregnancy. If you or your sexual partner can become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your birth control needs while you’re taking Cosentyx.

Cosentyx hasn’t been studied in people who are breastfeeding. So it isn’t yet known whether Cosentyx can pass into breast milk.

If you’re taking Cosentyx and want to breastfeed, talk with your doctor. They can help you decide whether you should keep using the drug.

Before taking Cosentyx, talk with your doctor about your health history. Cosentyx may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions. These include:

  • Chronic or recurring infections. If you have a chronic (long lasting) or recurring (repeating) infection, your doctor will need to treat it before you start taking Cosentyx. This is because Cosentyx increases your risk of getting an infection. The drug may reduce your immune system activity.
  • Tuberculosis (TB). If you have tuberculosis (TB), your doctor will need to treat the TB before you can start taking Cosentyx. (Even if you don’t have symptoms, TB can still be in your body if you’ve had it in the past or were exposed to it.) This is because Cosentyx may reduce your immune system activity and cause the TB to become worse. Before you start taking Cosentyx, your doctor will test you for TB.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease. Cosentyx may worsen symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). If you have IBD, talk with your doctor before taking Cosentyx. They may monitor you more often to be sure that your IBD doesn’t get worse while you’re taking Cosentyx.
  • Allergic reactions to Cosentyx. If you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to Cosentyx or any of its ingredients, you shouldn’t take Cosentyx. Ask your doctor what other treatments are right for you.
  • Latex allergy. If you’re allergic to latex, you may have an allergic reaction to the prefilled syringe (depending on strength) or the Cosentyx Sensoready pen. This is because the cap on the Sensoready pen and some prefilled syringes have natural rubber latex in them. There are no studies of people with a latex allergy using a Cosentyx Sensoready pen or prefilled syringe. However, if you have a latex allergy, talk with your doctor before using Cosentyx. They can review how severe your allergy is and whether it’s safe for you to use the drug. (The Cosentyx UnoReady pen and the 300 mg/2 mL prefilled syringe do not contain latex.)
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding. It’s not known whether Cosentyx is safe to take during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. To learn more, see the “Cosentyx and pregnancy” and “Cosentyx and breastfeeding” sections above.

Note: For more information about the potential negative effects of Cosentyx, see the “Cosentyx side effects” section above.

Using more than the recommended dosage of Cosentyx can lead to serious side effects. (To learn more, see “Serious side effects” in the “Cosentyx side effects” section above.)

There were no overdoses in clinical trials of Cosentyx.

What to do in case of overdose

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor. You can also call America’s Poison Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. But if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

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 another 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.