Stelara Warnings and Precautions

Because Stelara suppresses the immune system, it increases your risk of conditions such as cancer. This medication may not be suitable for everyone, so talk with your healthcare provider before starting treatment if you have any disease that affects the immune system. Other warnings and precautions for Stelara apply to people who have frequent infections, a history of tuberculosis, or are taking certain medications.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

Prior to taking Stelara® (ustekinumab), talk to your healthcare provider if you have:
 
  • A history of tuberculosis
  • Any current infection
  • Infections that come and go, such as cold sores
  • Any disease that affects the immune system, such as diabetes, cancer, HIV, or AIDS
  • A history of any type of cancer
  • Plans to receive vaccinations
  • Any allergies, including to food, dyes, or preservatives.
     
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
 
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
     
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
 

Specific Precautions and Warnings With Stelara

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking Stelara include the following:
 
  • Stelara can increase your chance of infections, including serious infections. You should not start taking this drug if you have an infection (even a skin infection). While taking it, be sure to tell your healthcare provider right away if you think you may have any infection. Stelara may not be the best choice for people who get frequent infections.
     
  • This medicine can cause certain infections, such as tuberculosis, that have become inactive in the body to become active again. Tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had tuberculosis before starting Stelara. Your healthcare provider should give you a tuberculosis skin test to make sure you have never had it.
     
  • Medications like Stelara may increase the risk of cancer because they suppress the immune system. Make sure your healthcare provider knows if you have a history of cancer, or even just a family history of it.
     
  • You should not receive live vaccines while taking Stelara. Talk to your healthcare provider before receiving any vaccines while on this medication.
     
  • In rare cases, Stelara has caused a reversible but potentially dangerous condition known as reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome (RPLS). Let your healthcare provider know if you develop any symptoms of RPLS, such as:
     
 
  • Stelara can potentially interact with a few other medications (see Stelara Interactions).
     
  • Stelara is considered a pregnancy Category B medication. This means that it is probably safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not currently known (see Stelara and Pregnancy).
     
  • It is unknown if Stelara passes through breast milk in humans. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Stelara and Breastfeeding).
     

Stelara Medication Information

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