Stelara is an injectable drug used to treat plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. It slows down inflammation and production of skin cells by attaching to certain proteins in the body, preventing them from binding to other cells. It is fairly long-acting -- the second injection is given four weeks after the first, after which injections are given every 12 weeks. Possible side effects include headaches and infections.
What Is Stelara?Stelara® (ustekinumab) is a prescription medication approved for treating moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis in adults. It is also approved to treat psoriatic arthritis in adults. It is a "biologic" drug that is taken as an injection just under the skin.
Stelara is made by Cilag AG for Centocor Ortho Biotech, Inc.
How Does It Work?Stelara belongs to a group of drugs known as monoclonal antibodies. These antibodies bind to IL-12 and IL-23, two naturally occurring inflammatory proteins (technically known as cytokines). By binding to IL-12 and IL-23, the medicine prevents these two cytokines from binding to other cells in the body. This action slows down the production of skin cells and decreases inflammation.
When and How to Take StelaraSome general considerations to keep in mind during treatment with Stelara include the following:
- This medicine comes in injectable form. Your healthcare provider will inject it just below the skin (subcutaneously), or if your healthcare provider approves, you may give yourself the injections. Various areas of the body may be used.
- The second injection is given four weeks after the first. After that, the injections are given every 12 weeks.
- The injection site should be rotated so that the same area is not injected twice in a row.
- For Stelara to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. It will not continue to work if you stop taking it.