How Cosentyx Works

Cosentyx works by blocking interleukin-17 (IL-17). IL-17 is a signalling protein, or cytokine, that regulates the immune system and is related to the body’s inflammatory response.

Cosentyx is itself a type of protein known as a monoclonal antibody. It binds to IL-17, and in doing so, prevents it from binding to its receptors. Immune system cells like T-cells, a type of white blood cell, use IL-17 as a messenger to attract other inflammatory cells

When IL-17 is tied up by Cosentyx, the messages that are normally sent to recruit other inflammatory cells don’t get through as often, and the overall effect is suppression of the immune system. Though this suppression can make it slightly harder for patients to fight off infections, it also helps to stabilize an overactive immune system and treat the symptoms of arthritis and psoriasis.

Side Effects of Cosentyx

People taking Cosentyx should talk to their doctor if they are concerned about any side effects. The most common side effects of Cosentyx are cold symptoms, upper respiratory tract infections, and diarrhea.

Other possible side effects include:

  • Injection site reaction – Cosentyx can rarely cause a reaction (redness, pain, & itching) at the injection site. Patients should tell their doctor if these are severe.
  • Cosentyx can flare or un-mask inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis). Tell your doctor if you develop diarrhea while taking Cosentyx.
  • Patients have very rarely developed allergic reactions (feeling faint, trouble breathing or throat tightness, chest tightness, and swelling of the face, eyelids, lips, mouth, tongue, or throat) or hives while taking Cosentyx. Cosentyx should be stopped if this occurs.

Who Should NOT Take Cosentyx

People who should NOT be taking Cosentyx include:

  • Anyone who has an allergic reaction to Cosentyx or any ingredient in this medicine
  • Those with a fever or possible infection
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women

Patients who are about to have surgery should discuss stopping Cosentyx with their doctor. The medication can be restarted once things have healed and there are no signs of infection.

When to Call a Doctor

People taking Cosentyx should call a doctor if they feel sick and want to stop, or if they are concerned about any side effects.

Other reasons to call a doctor while taking Cosentyx include:

  • Fever or possible infection
  • Upcoming surgery
  • Becoming pregnant or planning on pregnancy
  • Planning any vaccinations
  • Rash or allergic reaction
  • Severe diarrhea