When you're prescribed a drug like Cosenytx, it may seem like you have no reason to expect anything but the best results. After all, advertisements for this prescription medication amplify the supposed benefits while glossing over the many potential downsides of using Cosentyx. In reality, however, this drug can actually create worse problems than the symptoms it is designed to treat, and whether you're considering trying Cosentyx or you've already been harmed by this medication, it pays to learn as much as possible about its perceived benefits and potentially disastrous downsides. Educate yourself on all of the intricacies of Cosentyx to seek justice for your drug injury and protect others from the harm that this drug can do.
What Is Cosentyx?
Cosentyx is a brand name of secukinumab, and it is produced by the pharmaceutical company Novartis. Secukinumabis used to treat psoriatic conditions, and it is a monoclonal antibody that binds to a protein called interleukin 17A. Cosentyx is a type of secukinumab that is administered by an intravenous syringe, and this drug generally comes in single-dose syringes. Chemically, the main purpose of secukinumab is to inhibit the action of interleukin 17A, which is a type of cytokine. These tiny proteins are integral to cell signaling, but if you have imbalanced levels of cytokines in your body, you can develop a number of different medical conditions.
Since the cytokine interleukin 17A has been linked to the development of psoriasis in humans, the developers of secukinumab postulated that inhibiting the action of this cytokine would prevent and reverse the effects of psoriatic conditions. While it doesn't appear that this supposition was inherently incorrect, the developers of this drug suffered from the same apparent myopia that runs rampant in the modern pharmaceutical industry; when you use drugs to interfere with the operation of highly delicate systems in the human body, you often rock the boat more than you steady it.
Secukinumab (Cosenytx) is fully humanized, which means that it is a synthetic chemical that has been made to exactly mimic a substance that is naturally occurring in the human body. Cosentyx is approved by the FDA, and it is widely advertised as a reasonably safe treatment for psoriasis and related conditions. However, medical research into psoriasis has concluded that the exact mechanism by which this disease manifests itself (called the pathogenesis of a disease) is not fully known.
It is widely understood that psoriasis has its origins in a disorder of the immune system, which means that it would stand to reason that simple therapies such as diet, exercise, and relaxation could cause the effects of this condition to diminish or disappear. However, since the exact pathogenesis of psoriasis is unknown, drugs like secukinumab target one of the major effects of psoriasis, namely the increase of interleukin 17A, instead of treating the underlying cause of this disease, which is an immune system disorder.
To improve their accuracy in creating new drugs, medical scientists limit themselves to the treatment of bodily effects that they can empirically understand, which is the methodology that led to the development of Cosentyx. While this approach may be stringently accurate, its effectiveness is called into question when the overwhelming number of side effect claims against Cosentyx are brought to light. While psoriasis can be a debilitating condition, patients who suffer from this disease don't deserve to be burdened with new illnesses, and we'll fully explore the dangers of this novel psoriasis drug in the course of this article.
Recommended Dose for Cosentyx
Since Cosentyx is injected under the skin, it doesn't need to be applied very frequently. For the first four weeks that you use Cosentyx, it is recommended that you inject 300 mg of this substance once per week. You can inject Cosentyx at any time of day, and you can use it with or without a meal. After the first four weeks of use, it is recommended that you inject this drug once every four weeks. It's important to note that every syringe of Cosentyx only contains 150 mg of this drug, which means that you'll need to inject two syringes with each dose.
Intended Effects of Cosentyx
The intended effect of Cosentyx is to treat psoriasis, ankylosing spondylitis, and psoriatic arthritis. Psoriasisis a condition that has been linked to overactivity in the immune system; when you have psoriasis, your immune system attacks healthy cells, and as a result, your skin cell turnover rate increases exponentially. This mechanism leads to a buildup of dead skin cells on the surface of your skin, but instead of simply falling off, these patches of skin become red and inflamed, and these red patches can sometimes become extremely painful.
Cosentyx attempts to treat psoriasis by reducing the levels of interleukin 17 in your body, which is the inflammatory protein responsible for signaling the immune system to attack your healthy skin cells. It's important to note that Cosentyx doesn't stop the faulty immune reaction; it simply removes the method by which this impulse to attack skin cells communicates. In some cases, psoriasis may be mild and only affect a small part of your body, but it can also be widespread across the body, causing serious discomfort and even skin lesions.
Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is another serious condition that is considered to be in the same general group as psoriasis. However, AS doesn't usually cause inflammation of the skin; instead, it causes inflammation in your spine, and in its early stages, this condition causes serious back pain. Over time, however, AS can cause the vertebrae in your spine to fuse together, which decreases spine flexibility and burdens you with a perpetually hunched-over posture. This condition can also affect your ribs, and when it progresses that far, it can interfere with your ability to breathe.
While psoriasis and AS have very different symptoms, they are caused by very similar mechanisms, and when levels of interleukin 17 in your body are reduced, the symptoms of this condition are mitigated. It's important to point out, however, that from the perspective of medical science, AS is irreversible; once your vertebrae fuse together, they cannot be unfused, and the only thing that you can do is reduce the inflammation-based pain associated with this condition.
In some instances, AS can also cause inflammation in other areas such as your eyes, and it becomes worse after periods of inactivity. The other condition that Cosentyx supposedly treats is psoriatic arthritis, which occurs in some people who have psoriasis. In most cases, psoriatic arthritis appears after a patient develops psoriasis, but in rare circumstances, this type of arthritis can appear in the absence of psoriasis.
Psoriatic arthritis can occur in any part of the body, and this condition can be relatively mild and confined to one bodily area. On the other hand, this arthritic condition gets worse with time, and it can pair with psoriasis to cover nearly every area of your body. When confronted with these symptoms, it's natural to search for relief, but many people who have tried Cosentyx for their psoriatic arthritis have paid dearly for their pharmaceutical respite from arthritic pain and skin discomfort.
Cosentyx Drug Interactions
Before you start using Cosentyx, it's important to consult with your doctor or pharmacist to determine whether any of the drugs that you are currently prescribed could interact with this psoriasis drug. While you'll always need to check with a medical professional to be certain about the types of drugs that interact with Cosentyx, here are some examples of the types of drugs that commonly have adverse interactions with secukinumab:
- Adalimumab: This drug is a common arthritis treatment that is also used to treat Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Common brand names of this drug include Humira, Cyltezo, and Hyrimoz.
- Golimumab: This drug is an immunosuppressive, which means it suppresses the activity of your immune system. It is usually branded as Simponi.
- Rotavirus vaccine: This vaccine is used to prevent the incidence of rotavirus, which can cause severe diarrhea in children. It is commonly branded as Rotarix or RotaTeq.
- Typhoid vaccine: This medication is used to vaccinate against typhoid, and it is usually branded as Vivotif Berna.
This list is in no way meant to be exhaustive, and many other different kinds of medications may also have adverse interactions with Cosentyx.
In pharmaceutical terminology, an indication is a situation in which the use of a drug is warranted. For instance, if you have psoriasis, a doctor will see this as an indication for Cosentyx. Contraindications, however, are reasons why a drug shouldn't be used. Examples of contraindications include genetic diseases, preexisting conditions, and allergies. To date, the only contraindication for Cosentyx that has been determined is allergy. If there is any reason to suspect that you are allergic to secukinumab, a doctor will consider this to be a contraindication, and they will not prescribe the drug.
As part of the original approval process for Cosentyx, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered a number of studies to be done into the potential dangers posed by this drug. While the ostensible purpose of the FDA is to keep dangerous products out of the marketplace, the standards used to determine whether or not a drug is dangerous are relatively arbitrary, and the ruling that the FDA makes is often heavily influenced by economic concerns and pressure from pharmaceutical interests.
While the FDA determined that Cosentyx does, in fact, pose a number of serious dangers to the health of people who use it, the ruling was ultimately made that the potential benefits of Cosentyx outweigh the risks, and the drug was approved. In the approval paperwork, however, the FDA included a number of caveats that are meant to warn consumers of the potential dangers posed by this drug. For instance, the FDA found that:
- Cosentyx causes infections: In the course of the approval process, the FDA found that Cosentyx can cause serious infections. While the FDA didn't list the suspected reason why this drug causes infections, basic logic indicates that this dangerous effect occurs because Cosentyx interferes with the immune system. The FDA warns that if a person has suffered from a history of infections, they shouldn't use Cosentyx, and people who are naturally more prone to infections should also steer clear of this drug. Furthermore, the FDA recommends that patients discontinue the use of Cosentyx if an infection occurs.
- Cosentyx comes with a tuberculosis danger: While the FDA doesn't elaborate on this particular point, they stipulate that patients should be evaluated for tuberculosis before they start using Cosentyx. Since tuberculosis is an infectious disease, it stands to reason that the FDA issued this warning because Cosentyx can weaken your immune system. While tuberculosis has been mostly eradicated, this disease saw an upsurge in cases during the 1980s as the AIDS virus spread, which also compromises the immune system. Essentially, the FDA indicates with this warning that you should stay away from Cosentyx for one of the same reasons that you don't want to catch AIDS.
- Cosentyx can make Crohn's disease worse: According to the FDA, clinical trials determined that Cosentyx can worsen the symptoms of Crohn's disease. While the exact causes of Crohn's disease remain unknown, medical scientists speculate that this disease could be caused by an immune issue, which would make sense in light of secukinumab's immunosuppressive properties. Crohn's disease is a digestive issue, and it can cause serious harm to your digestive system even if it is properly treated. If you start using Cosentyx when you have Crohn's disease, the seriously uncomfortable symptoms associated with this disease could become considerably worse.
In the warnings section of the approval document, the FDA reiterates their warning that use of Cosentyx should be immediately discontinued if an anaphylactic reaction or any other type of allergic reaction occurs upon using this drug. If you're considering using Cosentyx or you've already tried this drug, and you had a bad reaction, it's important to take these very serious warnings to heart.
Side Effects of Cosentyx
Beginning with clinical trials and continuing into consumer use, a number of side effects have been noted in relation to Cosentyx. While most of these side effects are relatively mild, this drug can cause serious or life-threatening side effects in rare circumstances. Here are some examples of the types of side effects that can be caused by Cosentyx:
Increased Risk of Infection
The most notable side effect of Cosentyx is increased risk of infection. This side effect is caused because Cosentyx weakens your immune system, which makes you more at risk of every kind of infection there is. Some examples of the minor infections that this drug can cause are athlete's foot, pink eye, and oral or vaginal thrush, but this drug can also cause more serious infections.
It's already been noted that this drug puts you more at risk of developing tuberculosis, which can be fatal. In fact, when your immune system is compromised, practically every type of infection can become fatal, which is a fact made evident by many of the deaths caused by AIDS. Ironically, this psoriasis drug can also cause a rare type of skin infection called impetigo, and it can cause ear inflammation, tonsil inflammation, and it can congest your sinuses.
If sinus congestion is relatively mild, it doesn't detract significantly from your quality of life, but serious sinus infections can be excruciatingly painful. In general, infections are some of the most uncomfortable and life-threatening types of illnesses, and you should be cautious whenever you take any actions that could leave you more at risk of developing infections. It's also worth pointing out that, in addition to the infections listed, any type of infection, such as the flu, will become much worse if you're using Cosentyx. Even the common cold can become such a debilitating condition that it may become life-threatening if you use this drug.
Cosentyx is also notorious for the various gastrointestinal issues that it can cause. For instance, some form of abdominal pain almost always accompanies the use of this drug, but in many cases, this pain is at such a low level that it is practically negligible. However, abdominal pain levels can become severe when you use Cosentyx, and digestive problems such as constipation and diarrhea are also commonplace.
You should always tell your doctor if you experience any side effects from a drug that you've been prescribed, but if you start noticing blood or mucus in your stool, you should stop using Cosentyx immediately and consult with your doctor at the next available opportunity. In some cases, this drug can even cause severe digestive issues such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBS), which means that it could incur digestive damage that lasts long after you stop using the drug.
In rare cases, secukinumab drugs like Cosentyx could cause liver damage. Since this drug negatively impacts the functioning of your immune system, immune-related liver diseases such as hepatitis could be contracted or experience a reactivation if you use this drug. It does not appear that Cosentyx is inherently toxic to the liver, but it is concerning that the immunosuppressive effects of this drug could put people who have had hepatitis before more at risk of developing this disease again.
Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell, and these cells are usually at the front lines of fighting infections. If you have abnormally low levels of neutrophils in your blood, your ability to fight infections could decrease, and this condition is called neutropenia. While cancer treatments such as chemotherapy are the most common causes of neutropenia, this condition can also be caused by immunosuppressive drugs like Cosentyx. If your white blood cell counts are already low, you should not use Cosentyx, and you should keep this potential side effect in mind if you decide to use this drug.
The Cosentyx Controversy
Since Novartis introduced Cosentyx into the consumer market, there have been various reports of potentially life-threatening conditions that have been caused by the administration of this drug. For instance, a case report from 2018 describes a situation in which a patient used secukinumab with an undiagnosed case of IBS. If this person had known that they had inflammatory bowel syndrome before trying secukinumab, it's likely that they wouldn't have used this drug, but instead, they developed severe ulcerative colitis after using this treatment.
Ulcerative colitis is when ulcers appear in your colon, which perforate the colon lining and expose the contents of this organ to surrounding tissues. Internal infections are common when you have ulcerative colitis, and while this condition sometimes resolves itself, in some cases, it never gets better. Perhaps partially in response to the potential dangers that this drug can cause, Cosentyx sales have slumped in 2018. However, the main reason for this slump is that consumers are turning to cheaper, generic copycat drugs that could be even more dangerous.
Despite the prevalent and dangerous side effects associated with this drug, there isn't a significant controversy surrounding Cosentyx. Many consumers who use this drug find that the benefits outweigh the detractors, and they compare the usually mild side effects of Cosentyx to the frequently severe side effects posed by similar drugs. This lack of a public uproar over Cosentyx doesn't mean that this drug is safe, however; it's simply a sign that consumers have grown accustomed to making compromises when it comes to finding drugs to treat serious conditions.
Legal Action Against Cosentyx
To date, no mass lawsuits or any other types of widely publicized legal action have been taken against Cosentyx. Individual consumers are free to sue Novartis if they have been harmed by Cosentyx, but this company has not come under significant legal scrutiny regarding their drug. It's important to point out that Cosentyx is still a relatively new drug, and many consumers are still unaware that there are significant side effects posed by this Novartis product.
Find a Cosentyx Legal Expert Near Me
If you've been harmed by Cosentyx, it's important to seek compensation as soon as possible. Even if the suffering you've endured due to this drug is irreversible, you can still make the situation better by receiving due justice. To get started on the process of receiving compensation for your Cosentyx-related harm, reach out to Consumer Alert Now today. The legal experts at Consumer Alert Now serve people all over the country, and they can coach you through the steps you'll need to take to seek justice. To get started, call Consumer Alert Now at (800) 511-0747 today.