"Feb. 18, 2011 -- New guidelines for the treatment of the skin condition psoriasis stress the importance of tailoring therapies to individual patients.
The guidelines were issued by the American Academy of Dermatology.
(stel ar' a)
What is the most important information I should know about STELARA®?
STELARA® is a medicine that affects your immune system. STELARA® can increase your risk of having serious side effects, including:
Serious infections: STELARA® may lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections and may increase your risk of infections. Some people have serious infections while taking STELARA® , including tuberculosis (TB), and infections caused by bacteria, fungi, or viruses. Some people have to be hospitalized for treatment of their infection.
- Your doctor should check you for TB before starting STELARA®.
- 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®.
- Your doctor should watch you closely for signs and symptoms of TB during treatment with STELARA®.
You should not start taking STELARA® if you have any kind of infection unless your doctor says it is okay.
Before starting STELARA® , tell your doctor if you think you have an infection or have symptoms of an infection such as:
- fever, sweats, or chills
- muscle aches
- shortness of breath
- blood in your phlegm
- weight loss
- warm, red, or painful skin or sores on your body
- diarrhea or stomach pain
- burning when you urinate or urinate more often than normal
- feel very tired
- are being treated for an infection
- get a lot of infections or have infections that keep coming back
- have TB, or have been in close contact with someone who has TB.
After starting STELARA® , call your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of an infection (see above). STELARA® can make you more likely to get infections or make an infection that you have worse.
People who have a genetic problem where the body does not make any of the proteins interleukin 12 (IL-12) and interleukin 23 (IL-23) are at a higher risk for certain serious infections. These infections can spread throughout the body and cause death. It is not known if people who take STELARA® will get any of these infections, because of the effects of STELARA® on these proteins in your body.
STELARA® may decrease the activity of your immune system and increase your risk for certain types of cancers. Tell your doctor if you have ever had any type of cancer. Some people who are receiving STELARA® and have risk factors for skin cancer have developed certain types of skin cancers. During your treatment with STELARA® , tell your doctor if you develop any new skin growths.
Reversible Posterior Leukoencephalopathy Syndrome (RPLS)
RPLS is a rare condition that affects the brain and can cause death. The cause of RPLS is not known. If RPLS is found early and treated, most people recover. Tell your doctor right away if you have any new or worsening medical problems including:
- vision problems
What is STELARA®?
STELARA® is a prescription medicine used to treat adults 18 years and older with:
- moderate or severe psoriasis that involves large areas or many areas of their body, who may benefit from taking injections or pills (systemic therapy) or phototherapy (treatment using ultraviolet light alone or with pills).
- active psoriatic arthritis. STELARA® can be used alone or with methotrexate.
STELARA® may improve your psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis but may also lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections. This may also increase your risk for certain types of cancer. It is not known if STELARA® is safe and effective in children.
Who should not take STELARA®?
Do not take STELARA® if you are allergic to ustekinumab or any of the ingredients in STELARA®. See the end of this Medication Guide for a complete list of ingredients in STELARA®.
What should I tell my doctor before receiving STELARA®?
Before you receive STELARA® , tell your doctor if you:
- have any of the conditions or symptoms listed in the section “What is the most important information I should know about STELARA®?”
- ever had an allergic reaction to STELARA®. Ask your doctor if you are not sure.
- are allergic to latex. The needle cover on the prefilled syringe contains latex.
- have recently received or are scheduled to receive an immunization (vaccine). People who take STELARA® should not receive live vaccines. Tell your doctor if anyone in your house needs a vaccine. The viruses used in some types of vaccines can spread to people with a weakened immune system, and can cause serious problems. You should not receive the BCG vaccine during the one year before taking STELARA® or one year after you stop taking STELARA®.
- have any new or changing lesions within psoriasis areas or on normal skin.
- are receiving or have received allergy shots, especially for serious allergic reactions. Allergy shots may not work as well for you during treatment with STELARA®. STELARA® may also increase your risk of having an allergic reaction to an allergy shot.
- receive or have received phototherapy for your psoriasis.
- have any other medical conditions.
- are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. It is not known if STELARA® will harm your unborn baby. You and your doctor should decide if you will take STELARA®. There is a pregnancy registry for women who take STELARA® during pregnancy. The purpose of this registry is to collect information about the health of you and your baby. If you are pregnant or become pregnant while taking STELARA® , talk to your doctor about how you can join this pregnancy registry or you may contact the registry at 1-877-311-8972 to enroll.
- are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed. It is thought that STELARA® passes into your breast milk. You should not breast-feed while taking STELARA® without first talking with your doctor.
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them to show your doctor and pharmacist when you get a new medicine.
How should I use STELARA®?
- Use STELARA® exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
- If your doctor decides that you or a caregiver may give your injections of STELARA® at home, you should receive training on the right way to prepare and inject STELARA®. Do not try to inject STELARA® yourself until you or your caregiver have been shown how to inject STELARA® by your doctor or nurse.
- STELARA® is given by injection under the skin (subcutaneous injection), in your upper arms, buttocks, upper legs (thighs) or stomach area (abdomen).
- Do not give an injection in an area of the skin that is tender, bruised, red or hard.
- Use a different injection site each time you use STELARA®.
- If you inject more STELARA® than prescribed, call your doctor right away.
- Be sure to keep all of your scheduled follow-up appointments.
- Read the detailed Instructions for Use at the end of this Medication Guide for instructions about how to prepare and inject a dose of STELARA® , and how to properly throw away (dispose of) used needles and syringes.
What should I avoid while using STELARA®?
You should not receive a live vaccine while taking STELARA®. See “What should I tell my doctor before receiving STELARA®?”
What are the possible side effects of STELARA®?
STELARA® may cause serious side effects, including:
- See “What is the most important information I should know about STELARA®?”
- Serious allergic reactions. Serious allergic reactions
can occur with STELARA®. Get medical help right away if you have
any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction:
- feeling faint
- swelling of your face, eyelids, tongue, or throat
- trouble breathing, throat tightness
- chest tightness
- skin rash
Common side effects of STELARA® include:
- upper respiratory infections
These are not all of the possible side effects of STELARA®. Tell your doctor about any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects to Janssen Biotech, Inc. at 1-800-JANSSEN (1-800-526-7736).
How do I store STELARA®?
- Store STELARA® in a refrigerator, between 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C) in the original carton until it is used.
- Store STELARA® vials upright.
- Protect from light.
- Do not freeze STELARA®.
- Do not shake STELARA®.
- Throw away (dispose of) any unused STELARA®.
Keep STELARA® and all medicines out of the reach of children.
General information about STELARA®
Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in a Medication Guide. Do not use STELARA® for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give STELARA® to other people, even if they have the same symptoms that you have. It may harm them. If you would like more information, talk with your doctor. You can ask your doctor or pharmacist for information about STELARA® that was written for health professionals.
What are the ingredients in STELARA®?
Active ingredient: ustekinumab
Inactive ingredients: L-histidine, L-histidine monohydrochloride monohydrate, polysorbate 80, and sucrose.
This Medication Guide has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Last reviewed on RxList: 3/18/2014
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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