Biologic Therapies

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Choosing a Treatment that’s Right for Me
Biologic therapies in review

Biologic therapies are another type of “systemic” medication like oral medications, but instead of delivering medicine throughout the body, biologic therapies (or “biologics”) act on specific systems within the body. They are administered by injection or by intravenous (IV) infusion. Biologics are most often used by people who don’t respond to other treatments, or those who have moderate to severe psoriasis.

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Biologics

TREATMENT

DIRECTIONS FOR USE

BENEFITS

SIDE EFFECTS*

Immunomodulating agents:
  • Ustekinumab (STELARA®)

STELARA®

  • After the initial injection, STELARA® is injected again after 4 weeks (1 month)
  • After this second injection at 1 month, it is injected once every 12 weeks (3 months)
  • May be self-injected after proper training, or administered by a healthcare provider
  • Before beginning treatment, your doctor will examine or test you for tuberculosis (TB)

Should not be used:

  • If you have a serious infection such as TB, infections caused by bacteria or fungi, bacterial infections that have spread throughout the body or hypersensitivity contraindication

STELARA®

  • Blocks the action of proteins that may cause the immune system to attack parts of the body, like the skin and nails

STELARA®

Most common side effects include:

  • upper respiratory tract infection (e.g., the common cold) and headache.

Other side effects:

 

STELARA® may lower your ability to fight infections. Some infections could become serious and lead to hospitalization. If your doctor feels that you are at risk for TB, you may be treated with medicine for TB before you begin treatment with STELARA® and during treatment with STELARA®. Many drugs such as STELARA® that may decrease the activity of the immune system may increase the risk of cancer.

  • Other very common or common side effects include: sore throat, nasal congestion and allergic reaction (skin rash).
  • Uncommon or rare side effects include: cellulitis (skin infection) and serious allergic reactions (e.g., swollen face or trouble breathing).
  • Secukinumab (COSENTYX)

COSENTYX

  • Initial doses once a week for 4 weeks followed by monthly maintenance dosing
  • Each dose is given as two subcutaneous injections
  • May be self-injected after proper training, or administered by a healthcare provider
  • Always use your treatment as your doctor has told you

Should not be used:

  • If you have an active tuberculosis infection or hypersensitivity contraindication

COSENTYX

  • Neutralizes the activity of a protein called IL-17A, which is present at increased levels in psoriasis, and helps reduce the signs and symptoms of psoriasis such as pain, itching and scaly patches

COSENTYX

  • Rare serious side effects include: difficulty breathing or swallowing; swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat; severe itching of the skin, with a red rash or raised bumps.
  • Some very common side effects include: upper respiratory tract infections with symptoms such as sore throat and stuffy nose (nasopharyngitis, rhinitis).
  • Some common side effects include: cold sores (oral herpes), diarrhea, itchy rash (urticaria) and runny nose (rhinorrhea).
  • Some uncommon side effects include: oral thrush (oral candidiasis), signs of low levels of white blood cells such as fever, sore throat or mouth ulcers due to infections (neutropenia), athlete’s foot (tinea pedis), discharge from the eye with itching, redness and swelling (conjunctivitis).
  • lxekizumab (TALTZ)

TALTZ

  • The recommended dose is 160 mg by subcutaneous injection (two 80 mg injections) at Week 0, followed by 80 mg (one injection) at weeks 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12, then 80 mg (one injection) every four weeks
  • May be self-injected after proper training or administered by a healthcare provider
  • Always use this medicine exactly as your doctor has told you

Should not be used:

  • If you are allergic to ixekizumab or any of the other ingredients in TALTZ

TALTZ

  • Works by neutralizing the activity of a protein called IL-17A, which is present at increased levels in plaque psoriasis
  • TALTZ neutralizes IL-17A thus reducing the signs and symptoms of the disease, such as itching, pain and scaling

TALTZ

  • Some very common side effects include: upper respiratory tract infections with symptoms such as sore throat and stuffy nose (nasopharyngitis) and injection site reactions (rash, pain, itch or swelling).
  • Some common side effects include: nausea, athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) and sore throat.
  • Some uncommon side effects include: oral thrush (oral candidiasis); fever, flu-like symptoms; runny nose; hives; signs of low levels of white blood cells such as fever, sore throat or mouth ulcers due to infections (neutropenia) and discharge from the eye with itching, redness and swelling (conjunctivitis).
  • Rare serious side effects include: serious allergic reactions such as feeling faint; swelling of your face, eyelids, lips, mouth, tongue, or throat; trouble breathing or throat tightness; chest tightness; or skin rash.
TNF-alpha Blockers
  • Infliximab (REMICADE®)

REMICADE®

  • 2-hour infusion in an infusion centre REMICADE® is administered by an intravenous (IV) infusion, given at a dedicated infusion centre staffed by trained nurses and other qualified healthcare professionals.
  • 3 in first 6 weeks (at start of treatment, at week 2, then at week 6), then once every 2 months

Should not be used:

  • In people with a severe infection, such as sepsis (an infection of the bloodstream), abscess, TB, or other serious infection
  • In people with heart failure (moderate or severe)
  • In people who are allergic to infliximab or any ingredient within, or with a history of allergies to mouse proteins

REMICADE®

  • Blocks tumour necrosis factor (TNF) alpha (TNF-alpha is made by the body’s immune system and interferes with the body’s response to inflammation)

REMICADE®

  • Most common side effects include: abdominal pain, back pain, coughing, diarrhea, dizziness, fatigue, itchiness, pain, upper respiratory infections (such as bronchitis, sinusitis, cold, sore throat), upset stomach, and urinary tract infections.

Other side effects:

 

REMICADE® may have a minor influence on the ability to drive and use machines. Dizziness may occur following administration of REMICADE®.

  • Common serious side effects include: serious infections and allergic reactions.
  • Uncommon serious side effects include: liver injury, heart failure, blood problems, nervous system disorders, malignancy and lupus.
  • Adalimumab (HUMIRA)

HUMIRA

  • Once a week for the first two weeks, then every other week thereafter (4 injections per month)
  • May be self-injected with proper training, or administered by a healthcare professional

Should not be used:

  • In people with a serious infection, such as TB, infections caused by bacteria or fungi, and sepsis (an infection of the bloodstream)
  • In people with heart failure (moderate or severe)
  • In people allergic to any of the ingredients

HUMIRA

  • Blocks tumour necrosis factor (TNF) alpha (TNF-alpha is made by the body’s immune system and interferes with the body’s response to inflammation)

HUMIRA

  • Most common serious side effects include: injection site reactions.

Other side effects:

 

upper respiratory tract infections, headache, rash, nausea, appendicitis and liver enzyme elevations.

  • Uncommon serious side effects include: tuberculosis, other serious infections, nerve disorder, herpes simplex (cold sores), pneumonia, bronchopneumonia, streptococcal pharyngitis and low white blood cell count.
  • Etanercept (ENBREL)

ENBREL

  • Twice weekly for 3 months, followed by weekly or twice-weekly maintenance dosing (4 to 8 injections per month)
  • May be self-injected with proper training, or administered by a healthcare professional

Should not be used:

  • Allergic to etanercept or any ingredient within the formulation
  • With sepsis

ENBREL

  • Blocks tumour necrosis factor (TNF) alpha (TNF-alpha is made by the body’s immune system and interferes with the body’s response to inflammation)

ENBREL

  • Most common side effects include: injection site reactions.
  • Common serious side effects include: upper respiratory tract infections and headaches.
  • Uncommon serious side effects include: serious infections, tuberculosis and nerve disorders.

*Always speak to your doctor and read the product information before trying a new treatment. Please consult the Patient Information for each product for warnings, precautions and prescribing considerations. The lists above do not include an exhaustive list of side effects. Your healthcare professional can provide the complete list. Also, speak to your healthcare provider if you experience any serious side effects or if side effects persist.

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