Cosentyx vs Stelara in the Treatment of Psoriasis
Cosentyx (secukinumab) and Stelara (ustekinumab) are injectable drugs used to treat psoriasis. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder that most commonly affects an individual’s skin. Skin cells of people with multiply faster than normal, causing the skin to appear as raised, red patches covered with silver-colored scales of dead skin cells. These plaques are often itchy and painful and can cover large areas of skin. Patches are usually seen on elbows, knees, back, face, and scalp but can be found in other parts of the body.
Cosentyx is an injection that is administered subcutaneously weekly for 4 weeks, then every 4 weeks thereafter. This drug acts by preventing the interaction of interleukin-17A (IL-17A) with its receptor. Proteins in the body naturally produce interleukins to regulate normal inflammation and immune responses. High levels of these interleukins have been associated with chronic inflammatory diseases, such as psoriasis. By preventing IL-17A from binding to its receptor, inflammatory responses are inhibited.
Stelara is administered subcutaneously every 4 weeks for the first 2 doses, then every 12 weeks thereafter. Stelara binds the p40 protein of interleukin-12 (IL-12) and interleukin-23 (IL-23). Like IL-17A, IL-12 and IL-23 are naturally occurring in our bodies and are involved in normal inflammatory and immune responses. By disrupting IL-12 and IL-23 signals, inflammatory responses are prevented.
Cosentyx and Stelara are effective for treating psoriasis and aside from the differing administration schedules, both drugs have similar characteristics. They have very similar precautions and adverse reaction profiles, which includes prolonged immunosuppression, diarrhea, headache, and upper respiratory infections. Even though both agents are effective, is one more effective than the other and is there any data that can help physicians choose between the two agents? The CLEAR study compared the efficacy of Cosentyx versus Stelara.