Cosentyx (secukinumab) is a brand-name drug that’s prescribed for certain conditions, including plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. This article covers topics such as side effects, dosage, and how Cosentyx works.

Cosentyx is a liquid solution for subcutaneous injection that comes in a single-use prefilled syringe, Sensoready pen, and UnoReady pen. It also comes as a powder that a healthcare professional mixes with sterile water and gives as an intravenous (IV) infusion.

Cosentyx is a biologic and belongs to a drug class called monoclonal antibodies. The medication is not available in a biosimilar version.

Read on for more information about Cosentyx. You can also refer to this article for a comprehensive look at Cosentyx and its other uses.

The use of Cosentyx for plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis (PsA) may cause side effects that are mild or serious.*

The lists below include some of the main side effects that people using Cosentryx have reported. For information on other potential side effects of the drug, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. You can also see our article on Cosentyx or refer to the drug’s prescribing information.

Note: After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a medication, it tracks and reviews side effects of the drug. If you develop a side effect while taking Cosentyx and would like to inform the FDA, visit MedWatch.

* Cosentyx is also approved to treat other conditions in addition to plaque psoriasis and PsA. It’s important to note that some side effects from Cosentyx may differ depending on which condition the drug is being used to treat.

Mild side effects

When used to treat plaque psoriasis, common mild side effects of Cosentyx can include:

When used to treat PsA, common mild side effects of Cosentyx can include:

  • headache
  • mild increases in blood cholesterol
  • minor respiratory infections, such as the common cold
  • nausea

These side effects of Cosentyx may be temporary, lasting a few days or weeks. But if they last longer, bother you, or become severe, it’s important to talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from Cosentyx are not common, but they can occur. These can include:

Call your doctor right away if you develop serious side effects while using Cosentyx. If the side effects seem life threatening, or if you think you’re having a medical emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.

Cosentyx is approved to treat plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis (PsA) in some people. It’s also approved for other uses.

For plaque psoriasis, doctors may prescribe Cosentryx to adults and children ages 6 years and older. For PsA, they may prescribe Cosentyx to adults and children ages 2 years and older.

How often you receive Cosentyx doses differs depending on which condition you’re using the drug to treat.

Cosentyx is a liquid solution for subcutaneous injection that comes in a single-use prefilled syringe, Sensoready pen, and UnoReady pen. It also comes as a powder that a healthcare professional mixes with sterile water before administering as an intravenous (IV) infusion.

Depending on the form, the drug is available for subcutaneous injection in these strengths:

  • 300 milligrams per 2 milliliters (mg/mL)
  • 150 mg/mL
  • 75 mg/0.5 mL

Cosentyx comes in a strength of 125 mg/5 mL for use as an IV infusion.

Dosage

Here’s the Cosentyx dosage information for treating plaque psoriasis, PsA, or plaque psoriasis and PsA.

Cosentyx is approved to treat moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. In order to receive Cosentyx treatment, you must be able to have phototherapy or systemic therapy. With phototherapy, light treats psoriasis plaques. Systemic therapy works in your whole body to stop the formation of plaques.

Cosentyx is also approved to treat active PsA. When the condition is “active,” you currently have symptoms.

Note: In addition to treating plaque psoriasis and PsA, Cosentyx treats other conditions. Keep in mind that the drug’s dosage may differ with other uses. To learn more, talk with your doctor.

Plaque psoriasis dosage

Doctors may prescribe Cosentyx to treat plaque psoriasis in adults and children ages 6 years and older. Dosages for adults and children are described below.

Plaque psoriasis dosage in adults

For treating moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in adults, the recommended dosage of Cosentyx is 300 mg every week for 5 weeks. After week 5, you’ll likely continue to take this 300-mg dose of Cosentyx once every 4 weeks.

You may receive 300-mg doses as one 300-mg injection or two 150-mg injections.

Sometimes, your doctor might prescribe a dose of 150 mg instead of 300 mg on the same dosing schedule as described just above.

Plaque psoriasis dosage in children

The recommended dose for plaque psoriasis in children ages 6 years and older is based on body weight as follows in the table below.

Body weight of childRecommended dose of Cosentyx subcutaneous injections
less than 50 kilograms (kg) (about 110 pounds)75 mg
50 kg or more150 mg

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

Plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis dosage

Adults and children ages 6 years and older may use Cosentryx to treat plaque psoriasis. Adults and children ages 2 years and older can also use it to help treat psoriatic arthritis (PsA).

Dosages for adults and children with both conditions are described below.

Plaque psoriasis dosage in adults

For adults with both plaque psoriasis and PsA, the recommended dosage of Cosentyx is the same as for plaque psoriasis. See “Plaque psoriasis dosage” above.

Plaque psoriasis dosage in children

For children with both plaque psoriasis and PsA, the recommended dosage of Cosentyx is the same as for plaque psoriasis. See “Plaque psoriasis dosage in children” above.

Psoriatic arthritis dosage

Doctors may prescribe Cosentyx to treat psoriatic arthritis (PsA) in adults and children ages 2 years and older. Dosages for adults and children are described below.

Psoriatic arthritis dosage in adults

Adults with active PsA can receive Cosentyx as a subcutaneous injection or IV infusion. Your doctor might prescribe Cosentyx with or without a loading dose, depending on the severity of your condition. A loading dose is a higher dose you receive when you begin taking a medication to help it start working more quickly.

The table below shows recommended dosages based on what form your doctor prescribes and whether you’ll receive a loading dose:

Cosentyx subcutaneous injection dosage for PsACosentyx IV infusion dosage for PsA
With a loading dose• one 150-mg injection once a week for 5 weeks
• then, 150 mg every 4 weeks

If you continue having symptoms, your doctor may increase your dosage to 300 mg once every 4 weeks.*
• one dose of 6 mg per kg (mg/kg) of your body weight
• then, 1.75 mg/kg every 4 weeks†
Without a loading dose• one 150-mg injection once every 4 weeks

If you continue having symptoms, your doctor may increase your dosage to 300 mg once every 4 weeks.*
• 1.75 mg/kg every 4 weeks†

* This dose may be given as one 300-mg injection or two 150-mg injections.
† Up to a maximum dose of 300 mg.

Psoriatic arthritis dosage in children

The recommended dose for psoriatic arthritis in children over age 2 years is based on body weight as shown in the following table:

Body weight of childRecommended dose of Cosentyx
15 kg (about 33 pounds) to less than 50 kg (about 110 pounds)75 mg
50 kg or more150 mg

You will receive a total of five Cosentyx doses as a subcutaneous injection given weekly. After the fifth dose, you will receive a Cosentyx dose every 4 weeks.

How to use

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

A healthcare professional may give you your first subcutaneous injection at your doctor’s office. They may teach you how to give yourself Cosentyx injections with the prefilled syringe, UnoReady pen, or Sensoready pen at home. Talk with your doctor about whether one form may be simpler for you to use.

The Cosentyx website features videos showing the correct way to give injections with the syringe or pens. You can also speak with a Cosentyx support specialist and receive live virtual injection training. To do so, call Cosentyx Connect at 844-COSENTYX (844-267-3689).

A healthcare professional will administer Cosentyx IV infusions. This injection, given into a vein, will take about 30 minutes.

How often to use

The dosing schedule of Cosentyx varies depending on which condition you are using Cosentyx to treat. You’ll receive Cosentyx either once a week or once every 4 weeks. It’s best if you have you receive your Cosentyx dose on the same day every week or month.

To help make sure that you do not miss a dose, try putting your treatment schedule in your calendar. You can also try setting a reminder on your phone.

Note: In addition to the information above, you can refer to this article for a more detailed Cosentyx dosage guide.

Cosentyx is approved to treat plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis (PsA) in some situations.

Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that typically causes the skin to develop raised, itchy, and scaly areas. An autoimmune condition occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks your own body.

Plaque psoriasis is one type of psoriasis. The raised patches are called plaques, and they form when your skin cells build up too quickly. The buildup leads to inflammation (swelling and damage), which can worsen plaques.

Some people with psoriasis will develop PsA. It’s a type of arthritis that occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks your joints. This causes inflammation, which can become very painful.

The way Cosentyx works

Cosentyx is classified as a monoclonal antibody. (A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way.) Monoclonal antibodies are proteins that work through your immune system, which is your body’s defense against infection.

Your immune system makes special types of proteins that can cause inflammation. Interleukin 17A (IL-17A) is one of these proteins. It’s been found to contribute to both plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis (PsA). IL-17A can make symptoms of psoriasis worse. Researchers have found that people with plaque psoriasis and PsA have higher blood levels of IL-17A than people without these conditions.

Cosentyx works by binding to IL-17A and preventing it from working. By preventing IL-17A from acting, Cosentyx helps decrease inflammation in your body. Inflammation leads to swelling and damage, which worsens plaque psoriasis and PsA. By preventing swelling and damage, Consentyx should help ease your symptoms.

For more details about how Cosentyx works, you can refer to this article.

How long does Cosentyx take to work for psoriasis?

How long Cosentyx takes to work for plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis (PsA) depends on which condition you are using the drug to treat. Clinical trials showed that:

  • People taking Cosentyx reported that their symptoms eased within 12 weeks of using the drug to treat plaque psoriasis.
  • People using Cosentyx to treat PsA reported that their symptoms eased after 16 weeks of treatment. Some people receiving Cosentyx reported symptom relief in as few as 3 weeks.

It’s important to remember that each person’s body will react differently to Cosentyx. You may see results more quickly or more slowly than someone else. If you have questions about how well Cosentyx is working for you, talk with your doctor. They can help answer questions you may have about whether Cosentyx is effective for your condition.

Cosentyx has a half-life of 22 to 31 days. This means it takes 22 to 31 days for your body to clear half a dose of Cosentyx after you take it.

In general, it takes five half-lives for your body to clear a drug fully. This means it can take anywhere from about 3.6 months to just over 5 months for your body to remove Cosentyx from your system after you completely stop taking the drug.

How much Cosentyx costs depends on several factors. These can include your prescribed treatment plan, your insurance plan, if you have one, and the pharmacy you use.

The price may also depend on the cost of the appointment to receive doses of Cosentyx from your healthcare professional. (Some people may be unable to give themselves Cosentyx injections and have to visit a healthcare professional to receive their doses.)

A program called Cosentyx Connect is available, which may help lower the price of the drug. You can learn more on the program website or by calling 844-COSENTYX (844-267-3689).

Cosentyx is a brand-name biologic medication. It’s not available as a generic or biosimilar. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication that’s made from chemicals. A biosimilar drug, on the other hand, is a medication that’s similar to a brand-name biologic drug. (Because biologic drugs are made from living cells, it’s impossible to copy them exactly.)

In addition to the information above, you can refer to this article for an overview of Cosentyx’s cost.

To save money on your Cosentyx prescription, explore these Optum Perks coupons.

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Psoriasis is a type of autoimmune condition that typically causes the skin to develop thick, raised patches. An autoimmune condition occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks your own body. The patches may be itchy and covered with white or silver scales. Here’s some information on plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis (PsA).

Plaque psoriasis

Plaque psoriasis is one kind of psoriasis. The raised patches are called plaques, and they form when your skin cells build up too quickly. The buildup leads to inflammation (swelling and damage), which can worsen plaques. Cosentyx helps treat plaque psoriasis by decreasing inflammation. This also helps reduce the pain caused by plaque psoriasis.

Symptoms of plaque psoriasis

The hallmark symptom of plaque psoriasis is the plaques. They may be purple or violet on black skin. On lighter skin, plaques may be red or pink. The plaques are most likely to form on the elbows, knees, scalp, or lower back but can occur anywhere on the skin.

Psoriatic arthritis

Some people with psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis (PsA). With PsA, you have psoriasis and a kind of arthritis in which your immune system mistakenly attacks your joints. This causes inflammation, which can become very painful. Cosentyx helps treat PsA by decreasing inflammation. This also helps reduce pain.

Symptoms of psoriatic arthritis

Symptoms of PsA can include:

  • pain, skin discoloration
  • swelling in your joints and tendons
  • pain in the heel or lower back
  • stiffness, especially after resting (such as first thing in the morning)
  • psoriasis plaques (see “Symptoms of plaque psoriasis” above)

Who Cosentyx is prescribed for

Cosentyx is approved to treat moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in adults and children ages 6 years and older. The condition is considered moderate to severe if it covers 3% or more of your body. For reference, 1% of your body is about the size of your hand (five fingers and palm).

You must be able to have phototherapy or systemic therapy to have Cosentyx treatment. With phototherapy, light treats psoriasis plaques. Systemic therapy works in your whole body to stop the formation of plaques.

Cosentyx is also approved to treat active psoriatic arthritis. When the condition is “active,” you currently have symptoms. Doctors can prescribe the drug for adults and children ages 2 years and older with this condition.

Clinical trials have shown that Cosentyx effectively treats psoriasis, including plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis (PsA).

For treating plaque psoriasis, researchers looked at adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. The researchers gave them either Cosentyx or a placebo (treatment with no active drug). In 12 weeks, more adults who received Cosentyx reported that their symptoms eased than adults who received a placebo.

Researchers also compared Cosentyx with a placebo for treating PsA in adults. After 16 weeks, more adults who received Cosentyx reported that their symptoms eased than people who received a placebo.

To learn about Cosentyx’s effectiveness in children, see the drug’s prescribing information. Or talk with your child’s doctor.

Guidelines

Guidelines published by the American Academy of Dermatology recommend secukinumab, the active drug in Cosentyx, as a treatment option for adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.

Guidelines published by the American College of Rheumatology recommend an IL-17 blocker, such as Cosentyx, as a treatment option for psoriatic arthritis. Doctors typically recommend this drug when other treatment options for this condition have not worked.

Before you use Cosentyx, there’s some important information to keep in mind. The drug may not be a safe option for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors that affect your health. Some of these are mentioned below.

If any of the following medical conditions or other health factors are relevant to you, talk with your doctor before using Cosentyx:

Now that you’ve learned about Cosentyx for plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, you may still have some questions. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist, who can advise whether Cosentyx might be right for you.

Here are some other helpful references:

  • More details. For details about other aspects of Cosentyx, refer to this article.
  • Dosage. For information about the dosage of Cosentyx, view this article.
  • Side effects. To learn more about the side effects of Cosentyx, see this article. You can also look at the Cosentyx prescribing information.
  • Cost. If you’d like details on Cosentyx and cost, refer to this article.
  • How it works. For details about how Cosentyx works for the conditions it’s approved to treat, you can refer to this article.
  • Drug comparison. To find out how Cosentyx compares with Stelara, read this article. To learn how Cosentyx compares with Humira, read this article.
  • Information on psoriasis. For more information on psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, see our lists of psoriasis articles and psoriatic arthritis articles. You can also visit our psoriasis hub.

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.