Stelara (ustekinumab) is an FDA-approved monoclonal antibody. It may also be named a biologic. The stelara 45 mg works in order to bind to the p40 protein subunit that is used by 2-cytokines, IL-12 & IL-23. Cytokines specifically are signaling substances that help manage the immunity, inflammation, and the formation of blood cells. This drug is approved for treating several different conditions which are as follows:
Adults with Moderately to Severely Active CROHN’S DISEASE: Stelara is intended to treat adult patients aged 18 years and older with moderately to severely active Crohn’s disease.
Adults with Moderately to Severely Active ULCERATIVE COLITIS: Stelara is intended to treat adult patients aged 18 years and older with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis.
Adults & Children 6 Years and Older with Moderate to Severe PLAQUE PSORIASIS: Stelara is intended to treat adult patients and children aged 6 years and older with moderate to severe psoriasis who may get effective results from taking injections or pills (systemic therapy) or phototherapy (treatment using UV light alone or with pills).
Adult Patients with Active PSORIATIC ARTHRITIS: Stelara is intended to treat adult patients aged 18 years and older with active psoriatic arthritis. It can be prescribed alone or with the medication methotrexate.
The proposed dosing regimen of Stelara is administered by injection, under the skin (subcutaneous). The dosage as well as frequency of administration depend on the condition being treated.
How does this medication work?
It is a monoclonal antibody. The monoclonal antibodies are man-made proteins that work like human antibodies in the defense system. They are mainly a kind of targeted treatment, which attach only to specific proteins in the body.
This medication binds to the p40 protein subunit that is used by a couple of cytokines, IL-12 and IL-23. Cytokines are indicating substances that help manage the immunity, inflammation, and the development of blood cells. By binding to this protein, this medicinal product disrupts the interaction of these a couple of cytokines which have been detected as being crucial contributors to chronic inflammation that is basically a hallmark of UC (ulcerative colitis) and Crohn’s disease. These cytokines also exist in the skin lesions related to psoriasis and in the joints of individuals with psoriatic arthritis.
Who should NOT take this medication?
It is not advisable to take Stelara in case you are allergic to ustekinumab or any of the ingredients in this medicine.
RARE side effects: Stelara may be responsible for causing rare and serious side effects, including:
Serious allergic reactions: Treatment with Stelara may be responsible for resulting serious allergic reactions. Stop using this medicine and get medical help promptly if you have any of the following signs and symptoms of a severe allergic reaction:
- feeling faint
- chest tightness
- swelling of throat, face, eyelids, or tongue
- skin rash
Lung inflammation: Lung inflammation has been noted in some individuals who receive this medicine, and may be serious. These lung complications may need to be treated in a hospital. Tell your health specialist promptly in case you feel shortness of breath or a cough that doesn’t go away while on treatment with Stelara.
What vaccines can I get during Stelara treatment?
- Prior to initiating Stelara therapy all your vaccinations need to be up to date and you must be free of infection.
- Live vaccines (BCG, MMR, & chickenpox) should NOT be administered while on Stelara treatment.
- Inactivated vaccines (flu vaccines), may be given to individuals taking this medicine and a yearly flu vaccine is recommended for individuals taking biologics, such as Stelara.
- Although, it is not specified how much biologics suppress the immune response to vaccination.
- In case you have an infection while on treatment with Stelara, your health specialist may consider temporarily discontinuing this medicine until the infection resolves or treatment can be instigated.
- In case your health specialist decides to continue therapy with Stelara, then antibiotics may be used at the persistent time if the infection is bacterial in origin.
USTEKINUMABINFORMATION FOR PATIENTS AND CAREGIVERS: Use this medicine exactly as your health specialist tells you to. Stelara is intended for use under the guidance as well as supervision of your healthcare providers. In children aged 6 years and older, it is prescribed that Stelara be administered by a health specialist. If your health specialist decides that you or a caregiver may give your stelara injections at home, you should get training on the right way in order to prepare and inject the drug. A healthcare specialist will specify the appropriate dose for you, the quantity for each injection, and how often you need to receive it. It is not advisable to inject it yourself until you or your caregiver have been shown how to inject this medicinal product by your health specialist.