secukinumab (Cosentyx)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

What is secukinumab, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Secukinumab is an injectable biologic drug that suppresses the immune system and is used for the treatment of psoriasis. It is an antibody that binds to interleukin 17A (IL-17A), a chemical produced by cells in the body that stimulates immune reactions. Scientists believe that psoriasis is caused by an increase in the production of T-lymphocytes in response to the attachment of a stimulant, such as interleukin, to the lymphocyte. Stimulated T-lymphocytes cause skin cells to grow rapidly, and the rapid growth of the skin cells produces the skin plaques of psoriasis. Secukinumab reduces symptoms of psoriasis (inflammation and excessive production of skin cells) by attaching to IL-17A, preventing it from binding and activating T-lymphocytes. The FDA approved secukinumab in January, 2015.

What brand names are available for secukinumab?

Cosentyx

Is secukinumab available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: No

Do I need a prescription for secukinumab?

Yes

What are the side effects of secukinumab?

The most common side effects of secukinumab are:

Secukinumab may reduce the ability of the immune system to fight infections, increasing the risk of infections such as tuberculosis (TB), and infections caused by bacteria, fungi, or viruses. It also may cause a flare up of Crohn's disease. The cap of the Sensoready pen and the prefilled syringe in which secukinumab is packaged contains natural rubber latex which may cause an allergic reaction in latex-sensitive people.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/23/2015

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