Cosentyx vs Stelara For Psoriasis – Differences & Side Effects

Cosentyx

It is the brand name of a medication called secukinumab, which belongs to the class of medications known as biological response modifiers or interleukin blockers.

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

Mechanism of Action

It works by regulating the body’s inflammatory response and blocking the action of a protein called interleukin-17A.

Uses

This prescription medication is typically used to treat adults with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis. It is also used to treat ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis.

Dosage

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

Contraindications

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

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

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

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

Less common side effects may include:

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

Drug Interactions

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

  • lovastatin (Mevacor);
  • simvastatin (Zocor);
  • eletriptan (Relpax);
  • budesonide (Entocort);
  • darifenacin (Enablex);
  • enalapril;
  • dihydroergotamine (Migranal);
  • sildenafil (Viagra, Revatio);
  • fentanyl (Abstral, Fentora, Actiq);
  • astemizole (Hismanal);
  • humira;
  • sirolimus (Rapamune);
  • quetiapine (Seroquel);
  • pimozide (Orap);
  • cisapride (Propulsid);
  • quinidine (Cardioquin, Quinact);
  • cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune);
  • tacrolimus (Prograf);
  • diazepam;
  • terfenadine (Seldane);
  • solosec;
  • fluticasone (Flonase).

Alcohol

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

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

This interleukin blocker is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Tell your healthcare professional if you are pregnant or plan to fall pregnant before taking this biological response modifier.

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

Stelara

It is the brand name of a drug called ustekinumab, that belongs to a group of drugs known as selective immunomodulating agents (biologics).

Mechanism of Action

It works by binding to specific proteins of the human body that are involved in inflammation and immune response.

Uses

This prescription medication is used to treat moderate to severe psoriasis as well as psoriatic arthritis and Crohn’s disease.

Dosage

It is injected under the skin, or into a vein through an IV.

For psoriasis, the usual initial recommended dose is 45 mg subcutaneously once initially and 4 weeks later. The maintenance dose is 45 mg subcutaneously once every 12 weeks.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • vomiting;
  • a sore throat;
  • tiredness;
  • a cough;
  • headaches;
  • sneezing;
  • redness where the medication was injected;
  • vaginal itching or discharge;
  • stuffy nose;
  • itching.

Rare side effects may include:

  • burning when you urinate;
  • a mole which has changed in size or color;
  • seizure (convulsions);
  • vision problems;
  • swelling anywhere on your body;
  • change in mental status;
  • changes in bowel habits;
  • confusion;
  • a severe headache;
  • a cough with yellow or green mucus;
  • stomach pain that is sudden and severe.

Contraindications

Before taking this selective immunomodulating agent, tell your healthcare provider:

  • if you have active tuberculosis;
  • if you are allergic to any ingredient of this medication;
  • if you have received a BCG vaccine within the past year.

Alcohol

Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages while taking this selective immunomodulating agent since alcohol use can substantially increase the risk of severe side effects.

Drug Interactions

It may negatively interact with other medications, especially:

  • levothyroxine;
  • atorvastatin;
  • meloxicam;
  • clobetasol topical;
  • methotrexate;
  • Cymbalta (duloxetine);
  • Otezla (apremilast);
  • gabapentin;
  • tramadol;
  • Humira (adalimumab);
  • trazodone;
  • hydrochlorothiazide;
  • prednisone;
  • lisinopril;
  • omeprazole;
  • Lyrica (pregabalin);
  • Norco (acetaminophen/hydrocodone);
  • metformin.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

It is not known exactly whether this selective immunomodulating agent passes into human breast milk or if it could negatively affect a breastfed infant. Tell your healthcare provider that you are breastfeeding a baby before using this medicine.

There are no well-done studies to determine whether this selective immunomodulating agent is safe to use during pregnancy. Tell your healthcare provider that you are pregnant or plan to fall pregnant before using this medicine.

Bottom Line – Cosentyx vs Stelara

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

Stelara (active ingredient – ustekinumab) is an immunosuppressant that is used to treat plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. It works by reducing the effects of a chemical substance in the body that can cause inflammation.

According to a 2016 study that was presented at the AAD’s (American Academy of Dermatology) annual meeting in Washington, Cosentyx is substantially more effective than Stelara in sustaining skin clearance in nearly 8 out of 10 moderate-to-severe psoriasis sufferers.

Regarding their price, the average retail price for 1 carton (2 sensoready pens) of Cosentyx 150mg/ml is $4,810, while the average retail price for 1 syringe (1ml) of Stelara 90mg/ml is $21,000.

References

https://www.jnj.com/media-center/press-releases/new-phase-3
http://ard.bmj.com/content/76/Suppl_2/1322.1
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-johnson-johnson-lupus/jjs

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