BIOLOGIC/DISEASE-MODIFYING ANTIRHEUMATIC DRUG (DMARD)
Stelara is a prescription medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat psoriatic arthritis, plaque psoriasis, and Crohn’s disease. Stelara is not FDA-approved for treating hidradenitis suppurativa (HS), but it is sometimes prescribed off-label to treat cases of HS that have not responded to other treatments. Stelara is also referred to by its drug name, Ustekinumab.
Stelara is an immunomodulator, or in other words, a drug that modulates the immune system. It is considered a biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD). Stelara is a genetically engineered antibody, or protein used by the immune system to identify and neutralize substances. Stelara is believed to work by neutralizing interleukin 12 and interleukin 23, two chemical messengers involved in autoimmune attacks.
How do I take it?
After initial loading doses, Stelara is administered every 12 weeks by subcutaneous injection.
Stelara is available as a prefilled syringe and single-dose vial.
The FDA-approved label for Stelara lists common side effects including headache, fatigue, cold symptoms, vaginal yeast infections, bronchitis, sinusitis, urinary tract infections, and injection site reactions.
Rare but serious side effects listed for Stelara include severe infections, hypersensitivity reactions, noninfectious pneumonia, and reversible cases of posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome (a disorder involving brain swelling). Stelara may increase the risk of developing some types of cancer.
For more details about this treatment, visit:
Stelara – Janssen
Review of Current Immunologic Therapies for Hidradenitis Suppurativa – International Journal of Rheumatology