What is Cosentyx (secukinumab)?
Cosentyx is the first drug approved in Japan in 2015 as a biologic that suppresses the function of IL-17A. It is mainly used to treat psoriasis vulgaris, psoriatic arthritis, and pustular psoriasis.
» Click here for more information on psoriasis.
Biologic treatments for psoriasis are approved for use by the Board of Directors after reviewed by the Biologics Review Committee of the Japanese Dermatological Association. Our clinic is included in the Japanese Dermatological Association’s list of “Facilities Approved for Use of Biologics for Psoriasis“.
What is IL-17A?
IL-17A is one of the pro-inflammatory cytokines that are closely related to the immune response in psoriasis.
As mentioned before, IL-17 is deeply involved in the formation of skin symptoms in the final stage of psoriasis skin condition. Therefore, suppressing the function of IL-17 has the effect of suppressing the appearance of psoriasis symptoms at the final stage. Therefore, not only are major side effects rare because it avoids suppressing a wide range of immune responses, but it is also highly effective in treatment and the effects are said to occur relatively quickly.
Characteristics of Cosentyx
Cosentyx is characterized by its high therapeutic efficacy and relatively early effects.
Who can use Cosentyx?
Cosentyx may be used by some patients but not others. Therefore, we will confirm the patient’s eligibility before starting Cosentyx.
Patients Eligible to Use Cosentyx
Patients with psoriasis vulgaris, psoriatic arthritis, or pustular psoriasis who meet any of the following criteria can use Cosentyx.
- Those who have had inadequate response to conventional treatments.
- Patients with skin symptoms that cover more than 10% of their entire body (an area equivalent to 10 palms)
- Patients with refractory skin or joint symptoms
Patients who cannot use Cosentyx
- Patients with serious infections
- Patients with active tuberculosis
- Patients who are allergic to any of the ingredients in Cosentyx
Patients who must take caution when using Cosentyx
- Patients with an infectious disease
- Patients who have had TB in the past
- Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease, etc.)
- Elderly people
- Pregnant or lactating mothers
Dosage and Administration Schedule
Cosentyx is an injectable drug. It is injected subcutaneously in the thigh, abdomen, arms, etc.
After the initial administration, the drug is administered at one, two, three, and four-week intervals. Thereafter, administration will continue at four-week intervals.
The first dose is administered at a medical institution, but the drug may be self-injected from the second dose on.
Precautions for use
Since IL-17A also works to prevent bacterial and fungal infections, the use of Cosentyx, which suppresses the function of IL-17A, may make you more susceptible to infections. Pay particular attention to infections of the skin and mucous membranes (candidiasis, etc.).
The following precautions should be taken every day to prevent infection.
- Wash your hands and gargle thoroughly
- Use hand sanitizers
- Wear a mask
- Avoid crowded places
In addition, live vaccines (BCG, measles, rubella, etc.) cannot be administered during administration of Cosentyx because of the risk of infection.
Cost of Treatment
Cosentyx is an expensive medication and is therefore subject to the High-Cost Medical Expense Benefit System and medical expense deductions.
High-Cost Medical Expense Benefit System
The High Cost Medical Expense System is a system under which the medical insurance will reimburse you for the amount of medical expenses in excess of a certain amount. The amount of co-payment varies depending on age and income.
Medical Expense Deduction
If medical expenses for a family member living in the same household exceed 100,000 yen for the period from January to December, the family can receive an income tax deduction by filing an income tax return.