Common Brand Name(s): Stelara
Important: How To Use This Information
This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
Ustekinumab is used to treat plaque psoriasis, a certain type of arthritis (psoriatic arthritis), or certain bowel conditions (Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis). It works by blocking certain natural proteins in your body (interleukin-12 and interleukin-23) that cause inflammation (swelling) in these conditions. Ustekinumab does not cure these diseases, but helps to lessen symptoms of the disease. It can help to decrease the amount of plaques in plaque psoriasis, decrease the number of swollen/painful joints in psoriatic arthritis, and decrease symptoms such as abdominal pain/cramping and diarrhea in Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
How To Use
Read the Medication Guide and the Instructions for Use provided by your pharmacist before you start using ustekinumab and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Before starting this drug, you should take a tuberculosis (TB) skin test to check for a type of tuberculosis that may not be causing any symptoms (latent TB). If you are diagnosed with TB, to prevent a serious TB infection you must first be treated for it before you start ustekinumab.
For the treatment of psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, this medication is given by injection under your skin as directed by your doctor. You will receive one dose, followed by a second dose 4 weeks later. Then this medication is given every 3 months.
For the treatment of Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, the first dose of this medication is given by injection into a vein by a health care professional. The medication is then given by injection under your skin every 8 weeks as directed by your doctor.
The dosage is based on your weight, medical condition, and response to treatment.
If you are giving this medication to yourself at home, learn all preparation and usage instructions from your health care professional. Do not shake the solution. The solution is normally colorless to light yellow. It may contain a few small white particles of protein. Before using, check this product visually for other particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely. Do not reuse syringes.
When given under the skin, this medication should be injected in either the upper arms, buttock, thighs, or abdomen. It is important to change the location of the injection site with each dose to avoid problem areas under the skin. Therefore, choose a different injection site with each dose. Do not inject into skin that is irritated, sore, or infected.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. It may help to mark your calendar with a reminder.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
Bruising, itching, pain, redness, swelling, or hardening of the skin at the injection site may occur. Injection site reactions usually go away after 1 or 2 days. Headache, back pain, or sinus/throat pain may also occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:
- cough that doesn't go away
- shortness of breath
This medication can affect your immune system. It can lower your body's ability to fight an infection. You may be more likely to get serious infections, such as lung infections, bone/joint infections, skin infections, sinus infections, or bowel/gallbladder infections. It may also be harder to fight an infection you already have. Tell your doctor right away if you develop any signs of an infection, such as worsening redness/swelling/tenderness at the injection site after 2 days, fever/chills, cold/flu symptoms, painful/frequent urination, unusual vaginal discharge/burning/itching/odor, severe stomach pain, or persistent nausea/vomiting. (See also Precautions section.)
Ustekinumab may cause a rare (sometimes fatal) condition called RPLS (reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome). Get medical help right away if you develop persistent headache, seizures, sudden vision changes, mental/mood changes (such as confusion).
There is a rare risk of developing cancer (including skin cancer) due to this medication. Discuss the risks and benefits of treatment with your doctor. Tell your doctor right away if you develop symptoms such as unusual lumps/growths, unusual skin changes (including a sore that does not heal or a change in the size/shape/color of a mole), swollen glands, unexplained weight loss.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:
- itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat)
- severe dizziness
- trouble breathing
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before using ustekinumab, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as natural rubber/latex found in the needle cover on the prefilled syringe), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:
- current/recent/returning infection (including hepatitis and tuberculosis)
Ustekinumab can make you more likely to get infections or may worsen any current infections. Therefore, do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor, and avoid contact with people who have recently received oral polio vaccine or flu vaccine inhaled through the nose. Avoid receiving BCG vaccines for one year after completing treatment with ustekinumab. Also avoid contact with people who have infections that may spread to others (such as chickenpox, flu). Wash your hands well to prevent the spread of infections.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
This drug may pass into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as skin exams) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
For the best possible benefit, it is important to receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist right away to establish a new dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. Keep the product in the original carton to protect from light until the time of use. Discard any unused portion of the vial or syringe.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised October 2019.
Copyright(c) 2019 First Databank, Inc.
Conditions of use: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information in not intend to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects nor should it be construed in indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.