Secukinumab is a recombinant human monoclonal antibody which is used in the treatment of moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis (a type of skin disease with red and scaly patches in parts of the body), and active ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis. It blocks the action of interleukin-17A and thereby reduces inflammation.
Secukinumab is contraindicated in patients who are allergic to the drug. It should also be avoided in patients with weak immune system or history of tuberculosis since it can increase the risk of life-threatening infections Crohns disease, or along with live vaccines.
The recommended dose is 150mg to be administered as an injection. If the dose prescribed is 300mg, the injection is given twice a day in divided doses.
Secukinumab comes in the form of a prefilled syringe, dosing pen or a powder to be reconstituted into a liquid and injected under the skin usually under the thighs or in the stomach area. It is injected once every week for the first five doses and then once every four weeks.
Do not use the drug if there is any sign of infection.
The injection should not be given in the skin area which is affected by psoriasis, or if the skin is found to be too tender, bruised or red.
The injection should be administered under the skin in the upper thighs or near the abdomen. It should not be administered in the two inch area near the belly.
It is advisable that patients receiving secukinumab should be tested for tuberculosis.
Caution should be advised while using it in patients with inflammatory bowel disease.
General: Allergic reaction resulting in swelling in the eyes, lips, face, throat and chest tightness, and skin rash with itching, faintness.
Respiratory: Sneezing, runny or stuffed nose, soreness in the throat, hoarseness, breathing difficulties, upper respiratory tract infections.
Digestive tract: Diarrhea, activating of inflammatory bowel disease.
Consult a doctor before taking the drug if there is any signs of infection as the drug is capable of weakening the immune system.
Secukinumab should be avoided with:
Immunosuppressants like cyclosporine as it would weaken the immune system.
Live vaccines since it affects the immune system.
Store the medicine in a tightly closed container kept in a refrigerator between 2°C - 8°C. Do not freeze. Allow it to come to normal temperature before injecting. Protect it from light by storing the medicine in its original carton and do not shake the vials.