Cosentyx vs Enbrel - Comparison of Side Effects & Uses

Cosentyx

It is the brand name of a drug called secukinumab, that belongs to the class of drugs called biological response modifiers (“biologics”) or interleukin blockers. It works by regulating the body’s inflammatory response and blocking the action of a protein called interleukin-17A.

The medication is manufactured by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Australia, a company that researches, manufactures, develops, and sells pharmaceutical therapies and products for numerous diseases worldwide.

Uses

This prescription medication is used to treat adults with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis.

Plaque psoriasis is an inherited systemic inflammatory disease of immune dysfunction which causes plaques of elevated, scaling, inflamed skin which is often commonly itchy.

The characteristic signs and symptoms of plaque psoriasis are small scaly, red bumps. These bumps typically join together into elevated plaques of skin and are visible on the knees, elbows, and scalp.

The medication is also used to treat ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis.

Dosage

The usual recommended dose is 300 milligrams by subcutaneous injection at weeks 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4 followed by 300 milligrams every 4 weeks.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • itching;
  • inflammation of the throat and nasal passages;
  • upper respiratory infection;
  • diarrhea;
  • sneezing;
  • stuffy nose;
  • headaches.

Rare side effects may include:

  • painful skin sores;
  • redness or swelling under the skin;
  • a cough with red or pink mucus;
  • cold sores on the genital or anal area;
  • shortness of breath;
  • pain or burning when urinating;
  • stomach pain;
  • increased urination;
  • unexplained weight loss;
  • muscle pain;
  • white patches in the mouth or throat.

To make sure that this interleukin blocker is safe for you, tell your healthcare provider if you have:

  • Crohn’s disease;
  • tuberculosis;
  • an active or recent infection.

Pregnancy & BreastfeedingPregnancy

It is not known exactly whether this interleukin blocker passes into breast milk or if it could negatively affect the infant. Therefore, tell your healthcare provider if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Also, this interleukin blocker is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Tell your healthcare professional if you are pregnant or plan to fall pregnant.

Alcohol

If drinking alcoholic beverages causes flares in your case, you may notice that things get worse despite being on this medication.

Drug Interactions

This interleukin blocker may negatively interact with other medications, especially:

  • simvastatin (Zocor);
  • budesonide (a medication of the corticosteroid type);
  • enalapril;
  • sildenafil (Viagra, Revatio);
  • astemizole (Hismanal);
  • quetiapine (Seroquel);
  • cisapride (Propulsid);
  • lovastatin (Mevacor);
  • cyclosporine (Neoral, Gengraf, Sandimmune);
  • eletriptan (Relpax);
  • diazepam;
  • darifenacin (Enablex);
  • fluticasone (Flovent HFA, Flonase);
  • dihydroergotamine (Migranal);
  • terfenadine (Seldane);
  • fentanyl (Abstral, Fentora, Onsolis, Actiq);
  • tacrolimus (Prograf);
  • sirolimus (Rapamune);
  • quinidine (Cardioquin, Duraquin, Quinact);
  • pimozide (Orap).

Enbrel 

It is the brand name of etanercept, an injectable drug which works by blocking tumor necrosis factor alpha, a substance in the body that causes inflammation. It belongs to the class of medications called tumor necrosis factor inhibitors (TNF blockers) or biological response modifiers (“biologics”).

This medication was first approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1998. It is manufactured by Amgen, Inc, an American biopharmaceutical company with the headquarters in California, United States.

Note – according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who use this type of medications are at high risk for a reactivation of latent tuberculosis infection.

Uses

This prescription medication is used to treat the following conditions:

  • moderate-to-severe rheumatoid arthritis in adults;
  • chronic severe psoriatic arthritis in children ages 4 to 17;
  • chronic moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis in adults;
  • psoriatic arthritis in adults;
  • moderate-to-severe juvenile idiopathic arthritis in children;
  • active ankylosing spondylitis.

Dosage

The usual recommended dose is 50 mg injected two times per week.

Side Effects And Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • diarrhea;
  • headaches;
  • stomach pain;
  • mild nausea;
  • heartburn;
  • weakness;
  • weight changes;
  • vomiting;
  • discomfort at the injection site;
  • a runny nose;
  • a cough.

Less common side effects may include:

  • vision changes;
  • bleeding;
  • patchy skin color;
  • seizures;
  • unusual thoughts or behavior;
  • dizziness;
  • difficulty breathing;
  • bruising;
  • body aches;
  • a butterfly-shaped rash over nose and cheeks;
  • swollen glands;
  • chest pain;
  • rapid weight gain;
  • swelling;
  • mood changes;
  • an ongoing cough;
  • a sore throat;
  • problems swallowing;
  • neck stiffness;
  • tarry stools;
  • confusion;
  • coughing up blood or mucus.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

This medication is not expected to harm an unborn baby. However, you should still talk to your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or might fall pregnant while taking this tumor necrosis factor inhibitor.

It is not known exactly whether using this medication while breastfeeding will harm a nursing baby. Regarding this matter, the manufacturer suggests that women do not breastfeed while taking this tumor necrosis factor inhibitor.

Drug Interactions

It may negatively interact with other medications, especially:

  • methotrexate (Rheumatrex);
  • prednisolone (Prelone) and prednisone;
  • methylprednisolone (Medrol);
  • dexamethasone;
  • azathioprine (Imuran);
  • anakinra (Kineret);
  • abatacept (Orencia).

Alcohol

You may drink alcohol while taking this medication. However, if you are also taking methotrexate, you should only drink alcohol in small amounts since methotrexate (a chemotherapy agent and immune system suppressant) and alcohol can interact, affecting your liver in a negative way.

Contraindications

To be sure that this tumor necrosis factor inhibitor is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have or have ever had the following:

  • painful urination;
  • type 2 diabetes mellitus;
  • diarrhea;
  • seizures;
  • asthma or other breathing disorder;
  • any type of recurring infection;
  • hepatitis B;
  • tuberculosis;
  • liver disease;
  • cyclobenzaprine;
  • HIV or AIDS;
  • if you have recently been vaccinated with Bacille Calmette-Guerin;
  • any cuts or open sores;
  • if you are allergic to latex rubber;
  • any disease that affects the nervous system, like – multiple sclerosis or Guillain-Barre syndrome;
  • if you are scheduled to receive any vaccines;
  • congestive heart failure;
  • inflammation of the spinal cord that can cause unusual sensations;
  • inflammation of the nerve that sends messages from the eye to the brain;
  • heart failure.

Bottom Line – Cosentyx vs Enbrel 

Cosentyx (active ingredient – secukinumab) is an immunosuppressant that is used to treat moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, ankylosing spondylitis, and psoriatic arthritis in adults. It works by reducing the effects of a chemical substance in the human body which can cause inflammation.

Enbrel (active ingredient – etanercept) is a medication that is used to treat inflammatory conditions, such as – idiopathic arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, severe rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and plaque psoriasis. It belongs to the class of drugs called biological response modifiers or tumor necrosis factor inhibitors.

References

https://www.novartis.com/news/media-releases/novartis-announces-study-data-
http://www.ema.europa.eu/docs/en_GB/document_library/EPAR_-_Risk-management
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0190962215016837

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