New Psoriasis Med Cosentyx Has Been Approved

Roni Shye
Roni Shye, PharmD BCGP BCACP, is a licensed pharmacist in the states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
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Cosentyx (secukinumab), a new treatment for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in adults, was approved by the FDA in January 2015. It is expected to be available within five to twelve weeks.

What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes the skin of an affected person to be red and irritated. The severity of psoriasis is based on how much of the body is covered and how bad it is. Psoriasis may be classified as:

• Mild (less than 3% of the body has psoriasis)
• Moderate (3 – 10% of the body has psoriasis)
• Severe (greater than 10% of the body has psoriasis)

Are there different types of psoriasis?

Yes. There are five different types of psoriasis: plaque (which Cosentyx treats), guttate, inverse, pustular, and erythrodermic.

Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of psoriasis. Plaque psoriasis appears as raised, red patches covered with a silver-white buildup of dead skin or scales on the scalp, knees, elbows, lower back, face, palms of hands, and soles of the feet. These patches of dead skin are often itchy, painful, crack, or bleed.

What are the symptoms of psoriasis?

Some of the most common symptoms of psoriasis include itchy skin, dry skin covered with silver flakes, pink-red colored or raised and thick skin, joint pain, nail changes, and severe dandruff.

Is there anything unique about Cosentyx as a psoriasis treatment?

Yes. Cosentyx is the first of its kind in a new class of medications known as IL-17A antagonists.

IL-17A antagonists work on moderate to severe plaque psoriasis by basically decreasing inflammation and swelling.

How will Cosentyx be available?
Cosentyx will be available to patients as a 150 mg injection, in either a single-use Sensoready pen (150 mg/mL) and a single-use prefilled syringe (150 mg/mL).

For healthcare professional use only, there will also be a single-use vial of 150 mg powder that needs to be mixed.

How is Cosentyx used?

You’ll likely receive the recommended starting dose—two 150 mg injections—once per week for five weeks, followed by a once-monthly maintenance dose. The maintenance dose is also two 150 mg injections, given every four weeks.

Are there side effects?

The most common side effects associated with Cosentyx are diarrhea and upper respiratory infection.

Want more info on Cosentyx?

Take a look at the website here.

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