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Secukinumab

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Secukinumab - What is it for

​Secukinumab belongs to a class of medicines called biologics. Biologics are genetically-engineered proteins. Secukinumab, a monoclonal antibody, works by blocking the activity of a protein called interleukin (IL) 17A. IL-17A levels are increased in diseases such as psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. Secukinumab, via blocking IL-17A, helps to reduce the activity of the immune system and the symptoms of the diseases.  

Secukinumab is used to treat autoimmune diseases (disease where the body's natural defence system attacks own body cells). You are taking Secukinumab for (please tick as appropriate):

Plaque psoriasis

Psoriatic arthritis

Ankylosing spondylitis

Other, please specify: ___________________________________

Secukinumab - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Secukinumab cause?

​Side effects may occur when taking Secukinumab, but the vast majority of these tend to resolve spontaneously. Common side effects include:

  • Reaction at injection site such as swelling, itching or bruising. They usually subside within 3 to 5 days
  • Sore throat
  • Blocked/runny nose
  • Diarrhoea
  • Cold sores

Consult your doctor about any symptoms that becomes bothersome.

Before taking Secukinumab, what precautions must I follow?

​STOP taking Secukinumab and let your doctor know if you develop a rash or allergy. Rash due to allergic reaction to Secukinumab is rare. Possible symptoms of allergic reactions are:

  • rash, hives, or itching
  • red, swollen, blistered or peeling skin with or without fever
  • wheezing or tightness in the chest or throat
  • trouble breathing or talking
  • unusual hoarseness
  • swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue or throat

Tell your doctor immediately if you experience any symptoms of infection such as temperature exceeding 38°C, chills, cough, painful or bloody urination, feeling very tired or weak.

Let your doctor or dentist know that you are taking Secukinumab, as it may increase the risk of infection after a surgical procedure.

Secukinumab may cause new onset or worsening of inflammatory bowel disease. Consult your doctor immediately if you develop new symptoms of persistent or severe stomach pain or diarrhoea.

While having treatment with Secukinumab, you must see your doctor as scheduled to monitor response to treatment and minimize any possible side effect.

Avoid pregnancy while you are taking Secukinumab as the effect in pregnant woman is unknown. You must use effective contraception while using Secukinumab and for at least 20 weeks after the last dose.

If you are breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed, discuss with your doctor to decide if you should breastfeed or use Secukinumab. After using Secukinumab, you should not breastfeed for at least 20 weeks after the last dose.

Immunization status should be current before starting the medicine. Do not receive any live vaccine while you are on Secukinumab. Always consult your doctor before going for immunisation.

Secukinumab may interact with other medicine or supplement that you are taking. Inform the doctor, pharmacist or specialty nurse (such as dermatology, gastroenterology or rheumatology) before starting on a new medicine or supplement.

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Secukinumab?

Secukinumab - Dosage and How to Use

How should Secukinumab be used?

​Secukinumab should be injected as prescribed by the doctor and you should not stop using Secukinumab without discussing with your doctor. It can be used alone, with methotrexate, or with other disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs).

Secukinumab is available in a solution for injection that comes in a pre-filled form (ready-to-use). It is given via injection under the skin (subcutaneously) of your stomach, thigh or upper outer arm. You and your doctor will decide if you should administer Secukinumab yourself. You or your carer should receive training on how to inject Secukinumab from your doctor, pharmacist or specialty nurse prior to attempting the administration on your own. Always remember to rotate the injection site.

The effect of Secukinumab is not seen immediately. It may take several weeks before you observe an improvement in your condition.

Your doctor will decide how much Secukinumab you need and for how long.

Stopping Secukinumab abruptly may cause the symptoms of your condition to return.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

​If you miss a dose, inject it as soon as you remember. Talk to your doctor to discuss when the next dose should be given.  

What should I do if I overdose?

Secukinumab - Handling and Storage

How should I handle Secukinumab safely?

How should I store Secukinumab?

Keep away from children;#Keep in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight;#Store in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.;#Others;#

Secukinumab solution for injection is a clear liquid. Its colour may vary from colourless to slightly yellow. Do not use if the solution contains visible particle or becomes cloudy or distinctively brown. Do not shake the pen. Keep in original packaging to protect it from light. Store in a refrigerator at 2 to 8°C. Do not freeze. Keep out of the reach of children. 

How should I dispose of Secukinumab safely?

​After injecting Secukinumab, the used pen should be placed in a puncture-resistant container such as used metal tin or sharp bin. You may bring the used metal tin or sharp bin to the pharmacy or clinic for proper disposal.

Secukinumab - Additional Information

  • Updated on Tuesday, October 24, 2017
  • This article is contributed by Pharmacy, Rheumatology & Immunology Singapore General Hospital

    The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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