Stelera psoriasis is used for treating plaque psoriasis and contains ustekinumab. Janssen-Cilag ltd. supplies this injectable drug which helps slow down the inflammation and production of skin cells. This occurs as Stelera attaches itself to certain body proteins which prevents them from binding to other skin cells.
Stelera is a monoclonal antibody that is used to treat extreme cases of plaque psoriasis where other psoriasis treatments have not worked or when a treatment has led to bad side effects.
People suffering from plaque psoriasis suffer from skin inflammation where the skin cells grow faster than usual. This in turn leads to the formation of scaly patches on the skin surface. [note]By inactivating some chemicals in the immune system, Stelera stops the immune system from affecting the skin and thus helps reduce plaque psoriasis symptoms.[/note]
Stelera has to be subcutaneously injected by your healthcare professional. However if you are using this treatment for a long time, or if you need to take injections quite often, then with the right training, you can learn how to inject Stelera yourself.
The injections are rather long-lasting wherein the second injection is given a month after the first. Subsequent injections are given every 12 weeks. Make sure the injection site is rotated to ensure the same spot is not injected twice in a row.
[note]Make sure you take Stelera psoriasis as per its prescription as it will not work if you stop taking it. [/note]Store Stelera under refrigeration and not in the freezer, in an upright position. However the injection should be brought to room temperature before use.
The recommended dosage for Stelera depends on your body and the extent of your infection. Based on your weight, your medical prescriber will decide on the best dose for you. Do not change the dosage till you are advised by your prescriber.
Never share your medicine with others as Stelera may not be suitable for them and may only do more harm than good to them. Even if you feel unwell, or think the medicine is not working, discuss with your prescriber. [note]In case you miss your Stelera psoriasis dose, set up an appointment with your healthcare provider as soon as possible.[/note]
Stelera is not meant for everyone and is prescribed with special care. This is why you have to disclose your full medical history to your doctor for your right prescription. You doctor may also not prescribe you Stelera psoriasis if you:
Are suffering from an infection
- Are above 60 years of age
- Are allergic to or have sensitivity to latex or any ingredients in Stelera
- Suffer from kidney or liver problems
- Have had a live vaccine in the past fortnight or have undergone allergy immunotherapy
- Have had tuberculosis or cancer or any recurrent infections
- Have any allergies including allergies to foods, dyes and preservatives
- Have undergone PUVA treatment
- Suffer from a disease that affects the immune system like diabetes, HIV, cancer or AIDS
- Under 18 years of age
To check your suitability for taking Stelera, your doctor may arrange for some tests and based on the results, decide if you are suited for it. if you are a suitable Stelera psoriasis candidate, your doctor will prescribe Stelera to you with extra care. Sometimes Stelera may not suit your body and if this is the case, contact your prescriber immediately.
Interactions with alcohol and drugs
- Alcohol- While some medications get affected with alcohol, there are no known interactions between Stelera and alcohol.
- Diet- While some medicines interact with some food to cause harmful effects on your body, Stelera is safe and can be taken with any food and diet.
- Driving and using machinery-Some medicine may interfere in your ability of driving and operating machinery safely. This applies to Stelera psoriasis too; if you think it hampers your judgment while driving and using machinery, talk to your prescriber.
- Interaction between Stelera and any medication prescribed by your dentist, nurse, hospital doctor, midwife, pharmacist or GP depends on your specific circumstances. So do inform your prescriber about any medication you take, including over the counter medicine without any prescriptions.
Moreover, live vaccines, phototherapy and immunosuppressant medicines may interact with Stelera; so if you take any of these medicines with Stelera, it should be with your prescriber’s knowledge.
Pregnancy and nursing
It is not advised to take Stelera if you are pregnant. You also have to abstain from penetrative sex or use some effective contraception while taking Stelera, and for 15 weeks after taking your last Stelera psoriasis dose.
Do contact your prescriber if you become pregnant, or doubt a pregnancy while on Stelera. So if you are pregnant or want to become pregnant, you have to discuss your options with your doctor who will be able to decide which psoriasis treatment is safe during pregnancy.
Similarly, you should not breast-feed if you are on Stelera. [note]If you have to breast feed, it should be at least 15 weeks after your last Stelera dose. [/note]So if you plan to breast-feed, you have to discuss this with your prescriber who will prescribe other medication you should take that lets you breast-feed. However do not stop Stelera without your doctor’s permission or advice.
Like most medication, Stelera can give some side effects. However not many people complain of side effects as it is tolerated by most people quite well. Side effects are minor and don’t usually require any treatment.
If required, your healthcare provider or even you can treat them. There are not many cases of patients suffering from serious side effects while on Stelera psoriasis. Common side effects are: infections, fatigue, headache and back pain.
While Stelera may reduce inflammation caused by an overactive immune system and relieve psoriasis symptoms like scaling, thickness and redness, results vary amongst individuals. [note]As Stelera treatment may increase the chances of your suffering from a serious infection, if you use Stelera psoriasis treatment, you have to learn to recognize the symptoms of the infection.[/note]
It is important to seek immediate advice if you develop signs of infection when you are treated with Stelera. Moreover, if your symptoms worsen or you find no signs of improvement even after 28 weeks of taking the treatment, your doctor may be advised to stop the treatment.