Cosentyx

Medically Reviewed By Alisha D. Sellers, BS Pharmacy, PharmD

Cosentyx at a glance

Key highlights to know about Cosentyx include:

  • Cosentyx (secukinumab) is used to treat certain inflammatory diseases, including:
    • moderate to severe plaque psoriasis
    • active psoriatic arthritis
    • active ankylosing spondylitis
    • active non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis
  • Cosentyx is injected under the skin, generally into the thigh, stomach (abdomen), or upper outer arm. Rotate the injection site with each use, and avoid injecting the drug into areas where the skin is tender, bruised, red, hard, scaly, or affected by psoriasis.
  • Cosentyx is typically a high cost drug, which is defined in this article as costing more than $100 per month.
  • Cosentyx prefilled syringe, pen, or vial for injection is available as a brand-name drug only.

Important safety warnings for Cosentyx

People who use Cosentyx should be aware of these safety warnings:

  • Serious allergic reaction warning: Cosentyx can cause serious allergic reactions. If you experience swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat or problems with swallowing or breathing, seek emergency care (call 911) right away. Do not use Cosentyx if you have had a severe allergic reaction to Cosentyx or any of the ingredients in the drug.
  • Serious allergic reaction in latex-sensitive individuals warning: The removable caps of the Cosentyx pen and prefilled syringes contain natural rubber latex, which may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to latex.
  • Infections warning: Cosentyx may lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections and may increase your risk of infections. Before starting Cosentyx, tell your doctor if you have a chronic infection or a history of recurrent infections. While using Cosentyx, contact your doctor right away if you develop any symptoms of an infection.
  • Tuberculosis (TB) warning: Before starting Cosentyx, your doctor will have you take a skin test to check for TB. It is not recommended to start Cosentyx if you have an active TB infection.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) warning: New cases of IBD (ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease) or flare-ups of existing disease can happen with Cosentyx. If you have IBD, tell your doctor if you have worsening disease symptoms during treatment with Cosentyx or develop any new symptoms.
  • Vaccination warning: Before you start treatment with Cosentyx, check with your doctor to make sure you are up to date with all vaccinations. People who use Cosentyx should not receive live vaccines.

Talk with your doctor about these warnings in the context of your individual treatment plan and medical history.


What Cosentyx treats

This medication is used to treat:

  • moderate to severe plaque psoriasis that involves large or many areas of the body in adults and children ages 6 years and older who may benefit from injections or pills (systemic therapy) or phototherapy (treatment using UV light alone or with systemic therapy)
  • active psoriatic arthritis in adults
  • active ankylosing spondylitis in adults
  • active non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis and signs of inflammation in adults
  • active enthesitis-related arthritis in adults and children ages 4 years and older

Doctors sometimes prescribe medications for different uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for information about other uses for this medication.

How it works

Cosentyx is a prescription drug that belongs to a class of medications called monoclonal antibodies. It works by stopping the action of certain proteins that cause inflammation (cytokines).

Cosentyx is available as a prefilled syringe, a medication pen, and a powder in a vial to be mixed with liquid before administration. The vial is for use by healthcare professionals only. Cosentyx is currently not available as a generic medication. It is available as a brand-name drug only.

Side effects of Cosentyx

Cosentyx side effects are possible and may go away with continued use. Serious side effects are rare.

Common side effects

The more common side effects that occur with Cosentyx include:

  • cold symptoms
  • diarrhea
  • upper respiratory tract infections

Serious side effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Seek emergency care (call 911) if you experience life threatening symptoms, such as:

  • difficulty breathing
  • chest pain
  • a loss of consciousness
  • sudden vision changes
  • swelling of the face, mouth, tongue, or throat

Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • Serious allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:
    • chest tightness
    • fainting, dizziness, or lightheadedness
    • hives (red, itchy bumps)
    • a rash
    • swelling of your eyelids, lips, mouth, tongue, or throat
    • difficulty breathing or throat tightness
  • Serious infections. Symptoms can include:
    • blood in your mucus
    • a cough
    • diarrhea or stomach pain
    • fever, sweats, or chills
    • muscle aches
    • painful and frequent urination
    • shortness of breath
    • warm, red, or painful skin or sores on your body
  • IBD. Symptoms can include:
    • diarrhea
    • rectal bleeding or bloody stools
    • stomach pain

Other side effects are possible. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist if you have any side effects that bother you or that do not go away.

Costs of Cosentyx

Without insurance, Cosentyx is typically a high cost drug, which is defined in this article as costing more than $100 per month. You can check the out-of-pocket cash pay price for Cosentyx on prescription drug discount websites.

With insurance, prices can vary considerably. Individual health plans may have preferred drugs with better pricing. If the price of Cosentyx on your health plan is too expensive, ask your doctor or pharmacist if there is an equivalent drug you can substitute.

A patient assistance program sponsored by the manufacturer of Cosentyx is available to help with out-of-pocket costs if you qualify.

How Cosentyx may interact with other medications

Cosentyx may interact with other prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, or herbal supplements you may be taking. To help avoid harmful interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbal supplements you are taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you are taking, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

This is not a complete list of drugs that may interact with Cosentyx. However, examples of drugs that may interact with Cosentyx include the following.

Live vaccines

Avoid live vaccines if you are taking Cosentyx, as the vaccine may not work as well and may not fully protect you from disease. Examples of live vaccines include:

  • flu (nasal spray form of the vaccine only)
  • measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR)
  • polio
  • rotavirus
  • typhoid
  • varicella (chickenpox)
  • yellow fever

Drugs that suppress the immune system

Drugs that suppress your immune system can increase your risk of infections if taken with Cosentyx. Examples of drugs that reduce your ability to fight infections include:

  • abatacept
  • baricitinib
  • tofacitinib

Drugs that are broken down by the liver

Depending on when Cosentyx is started or discontinued, it may increase or decrease the removal of drugs from the body that are broken down by the liver. Your doctor may need to monitor you closely and increase or decrease the dose of these drugs. Talk with your doctor about the medications you are taking or plan to start or stop taking so that they can check for possible interactions.

Disclaimer: Since drugs interact differently in each person, this information is not guaranteed to include all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare professional about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbal supplements, and over-the-counter drugs you are taking.

Other Cosentyx alerts

This drug comes with several alerts and warnings, including the following.

Latex allergy

If you are sensitive to latex, tell your doctor. The removable caps of the Cosentyx pen and prefilled syringes contain natural rubber latex, which may cause an allergic reaction.

Warnings for other groups

Cosentyx is safe and effective for use in children ages 6 years and older with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. It is not known if the drug is safe and effective in children younger than 6 years old with plaque psoriasis or another condition. Children should be current with all vaccines before starting Cosentyx.

While taking Cosentyx, call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Seek emergency care (call 911) if you experience life threatening symptoms, such as:

  • difficulty breathing
  • chest pain
  • a loss of consciousness
  • sudden vision changes
  • swelling of the face, mouth, tongue, or throat

For pregnant and breastfeeding people

The following sections contain useful information for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding. 

Can I take Cosentyx when pregnant?

It is not known if taking Cosentyx during pregnancy will harm the fetus. If you plan on becoming pregnant, talk with your doctor.

Can I take Cosentyx when breastfeeding?

It is not known if Cosentyx passes into breast milk or if this drug has effects on the breastfed infant or on milk production. Talk with your doctor if you breastfeed or plan to breastfeed your child.

How and when to take Cosentyx

Cosentyx is administered as a subcutaneous (under the skin) injection in the thigh, upper outer arm, or stomach (abdomen). To reduce the risk of soreness or redness, use a different site for each injection. Do not inject the drug into an area of the skin that is tender, bruised, red, hard, or affected by psoriasis. Do not inject Cosentyx into the area 2 inches around your navel (belly button).

Use Cosentyx exactly as your healthcare professional prescribes. They will decide which type of Cosentyx (prefilled pen or syringe) is best for you to use at home. Do not inject Cosentyx until you or your caregiver has been shown how to inject the drug.

Children should not inject themselves with the prefilled pen or syringes. An adult caregiver should prepare and inject Cosentyx after receiving training on the right way to prepare and inject the drug.

Your dosage, your form, and how often you take Cosentyx will depend on:

  • the condition being treated
  • how you react to the first dose
  • other medical conditions you have
  • the severity of your condition
  • your age
  • weight (for children ages 4 years and older)

Drug forms and strengths

Cosentyx is available in the following forms and strengths:

  • a prefilled syringe, with strengths of:
    • 150 milligrams (mg) per milliliter (ml)
    • 75 mg per 0.5 m
  • a prefilled pen, with a strength of 150 mg per ml
  • a vial for injection (for use by healthcare professionals only), with a strength of 150 mg

Dosage for plaque psoriasis

Dosages for adults and children are as follows:

  • Adult dosage: You will receive a 300-mg injection at weeks 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4, followed by 300 mg once every 4 weeks. For some people, a dose of 150 mg may be acceptable.
  • Dosage for children ages 6 years and older: How much Cosentyx they receive is based on their body weight, as follows:
    • If they weigh 50 kilograms (kg) or more: They will receive 150 mg at weeks 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4, followed by 150 mg once every 4 weeks.
    • If they weigh less than 50 kg: They will receive 75 mg at weeks 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4, followed by 75 mg once every 4 weeks.

Dosage for psoriatic arthritis

For people with psoriatic arthritis who also have moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, use the dosage for plaque psoriasis.

For other people with psoriatic arthritis, administer with or without a loading dosage, as follows:

  • With a loading dosage: You will receive 150 mg at weeks 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4, and then once every 4 weeks thereafter.
  • Without a loading dosage: You will receive 150 mg once every 4 weeks.

If you continue to have active psoriatic arthritis, your doctor may increase the dosage to 300 mg every 4 weeks.

Dosage for ankylosing spondylitis

For ankylosing spondylitis, you can administer Cosentyx with or without a loading dosage, as follows:

  • With a loading dosage: You will receive 150 mg at weeks 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4, and then once every 4 weeks thereafter.
  • Without a loading dosage: You will receive 150 mg once every 4 weeks.

If you continue to have active ankylosing spondylitis, your doctor may consider a dosage of 300 mg once every 4 weeks.

Dosage for non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis

For non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis, you can administer Cosentyx with or without a loading dosage, as follows:

  • With a loading dosage: You will receive 150 mg at weeks 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4, and then once every 4 weeks thereafter.
  • Without a loading dosage: You will receive 150 mg once every 4 weeks.

Dosage for enthesitis-related arthritis

For enthesitis-related arthritis, administer an injection at weeks 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4, and every 4 weeks thereafter, as follows:

  • If you weigh between 15 kg and 50 kg: Your recommended dose is 75 mg.
  • If you weigh 50 kg or more: Your recommended dose is 150 mg.

If you miss a dose of Cosentyx

Call your doctor to ask what to do if you miss a dose of Cosentyx. Do not use a double dose to make up for a missed dose.

If you take too much Cosentyx

If you take too much Cosentyx, you have a higher risk of having side effects caused by this drug. If you think you have taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or local poison control center at 800-222-1222.

Seek emergency care (call 911) if you experience life threatening symptoms, such as:

  • difficulty breathing
  • chest pain
  • a loss of consciousness
  • sudden vision changes
  • swelling of the face, mouth, tongue, or throat

Helpful tips when taking Cosentyx

Keep these considerations in mind if your doctor prescribes Cosentyx for you.

General

  • Do not shake the Cosentyx prefilled syringe or pen.
  • Use each syringe or pen only once. Inject all of the solution in the syringe or pen.
  • Dispose of used syringes and pens in a puncture-resistant container. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about how to dispose of the puncture-resistant container.
  • If you are using a syringe or pen that has been refrigerated, place it on a flat surface without removing the needle cap and allow it to warm to room temperature for 15–30 minutes before you are ready to inject the medication. Do not try to warm the medication by heating it in a microwave, placing it in hot water, or trying any other method. Use the injection at least 1 hour after taking it out of the refrigerator.
  • Always look at the drug solution before injecting it to check the expiration date and to make sure there are no visible particles in the solution.
  • Do not use a syringe or pen if it is cracked or broken, if it is expired, if the liquid is cloudy or discolored, or if it contains large particles.
  • If you are administering the medication using a prefilled pen, you will hear two loud clicks during the injection. The first click indicates that the injection has started, and the second click indicates that the injection is almost finished. You must keep holding the pen firmly against your skin until you see a green indicator fill the window and stop moving. This means that the medication has been delivered.
  • There may be a small amount of blood at the injection site. You can press a cotton ball or some gauze over the injection site and hold it for 10 seconds. Do not rub the injection site.

Storage

  • Store Cosentyx in the refrigerator between 36°F and 46°F (2°C and 8°C).
  • Keep the drug in the original carton to protect it from light until ready for use.
  • The Cosentyx pen and the 150-mg-per-ml prefilled syringe may be stored at room temperature, not to exceed temperatures above 86°F (30°C), for up to 4 days.
  • Write the date that the Cosentyx pen or the 150-mg-per-ml prefilled syringe was removed from the refrigerator in the space provided on the carton.
  • If unused and not stored above 86°F (30°C), the Cosentyx pen or the 150-mg-per-ml prefilled syringe may be returned to the refrigerator.
  • Throw away the Cosentyx pen or the 150-mg-per-ml prefilled syringe if it has been kept outside of the refrigerator and not been used in over 4 days.
  • Do not freeze the drug.

Alcohol

There are no known interactions between Cosentyx and alcohol. If you are concerned about taking Cosentyx while drinking alcohol, talk with your doctor.

Refills

Your doctor will write the number of authorized refills on your prescription. Talk with your pharmacist if you have questions about refills.

Travel

When planning to travel, keep these tips in mind for packing your medication:

  • Bring enough medication for the entire trip based on when your next dose is due.
  • When flying, keep your medication with you in a purse or a carry-on bag. Do not put it into a checked bag in case you are separated from your luggage.
  • Depending on the length of your trip, you may need to pack your medication in an insulated travel cooler with an ice pack and extra Ziploc bags for ice. Do not forget to pack alcohol wipes for your injections. For longer trips, use the Ziploc bags for ice once the ice pack is no longer solid.
  • Liquid medications, associated supplies (such as needles), and ice packs are allowed through security when flying. They are also exempt from the 3-1-1 liquid rule.
  • Keep your medications in their original containers, if possible, to reduce delays during airport or security screening. Keep all your medications together to quicken the process.
  • Avoid leaving your medication in a parked car for extended periods to protect it from extreme temperatures.

Clinical monitoring

Before starting treatment with Cosentyx, your doctor should check you for TB. If your healthcare professional feels that you are at risk of developing TB, you may receive medication for TB before you begin Cosentyx and during treatment. Your doctor should regularly monitor you for any signs and symptoms of TB and other infections during treatment.

Availability

Not every pharmacy stocks this drug. When filling your prescription, be sure to call ahead to make sure your pharmacy carries it. Cosentyx is usually only available at select specialty pharmacies.

Prior authorization

Many insurance companies require a prior authorization for this drug. This means that your doctor will need to get approval from your insurance company before your insurance company will pay for the prescription.

Medications similar to Cosentyx

Cosentyx is a monoclonal antibody that inhibits interleukin-17A. This is a protein known as a cytokine, which is involved in the body’s immune response. Ixekizumab (

Taltz) is another interleukin-17A inhibitor prescribed for the same uses as Cosentyx.

Other monoclonal antibodies in different drug classes used for similar uses as Cosentyx include:

  • adalimumab (Humira)
  • ustekinumab (Stelara)
  • golimumab (Simponi)

Not all of these medications are approved for the exact same uses as Cosentyx.

Each medication has its own uses, benefits, and side effects. Your doctor will help determine the best option for you.

Discontinuing use of Cosentyx

Do not stop taking this drug unless instructed by your doctor.

Healthgrades disclaimer

This information is for educational purposes only. It should not be interpreted as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Healthgrades takes every effort to ensure this information is accurate and up to date. This content is not intended to cover all possible uses, side effects, warnings, precautions, allergic reactions, or drug interactions. Do not assume that the absence of such information means the medication is safe for your personal use. Always consult your doctor, pharmacist, or healthcare professional before taking or discontinuing any medication.

Medical Reviewer: Alisha D. Sellers, BS Pharmacy, PharmD
Last Review Date: 2022 Feb 11
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.