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How long does Cosentyx take to work?

Medically reviewed by Melisa Puckey, BPharm. Last updated on Oct 1, 2020.

Official Answer

by Drugs.com

Cosentyx (secukinumab) is an immunosuppressant that reduces the effects of a chemical substance in the body that can cause inflammation.

Cosentyx is used to treat moderate to severe plaque psoriasis (raised, silvery flaking of the skin), ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis in adults and non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA).

Cosentyx belong to a group of medicines called interleukin inhibitors.

How long does Cosentyx take to work for skin psoriasis ?

When taking Cosentyx (300mg) for skin psoriasis the time it takes to get a 50% skin clearance is 3 weeks (median).

To measure the severity of psoriasis, a score is used called the PASI (Psoriasis Area and Severity Index). This looks at how severe the skin lesions are and also the area of the body that is affected. This is what they use in studies to measure how well skin psoriasis medicines work. In studies they look for a reduction in PASI score eg a PASI 25 would be a reduction in severity of psoriasis by 25%.

By 12 weeks of Cosentyx treatment, the number of patients who had a 75% reduction in their psoriasis (PASI 75) was 77.1% of patients. Then by 16 weeks, the number of patients with a PASI 75 had increased to 86.7% of patients. The effect of Cosentyx on skin psoriasis starts within the first couple of weeks of starting the medication and skin keeps improving even up to 4 months.

How long does Cosentyx take to work for psoriatic arthritis?

In clinical trials to measure how well or how fast psoriatic arthritis medicines work, a criteria was designed by ARC (American College of Rheumatology) that takes in consideration the different aspects of psoriatic arthritis. It measures the percentage of improvement there has been in psoriatic arthritis symptoms. An ACR20 is a 20% improvement in symptoms, and ARC50 is a 50% improvement in symptoms.

In psoriatic arthritis, the time it takes for Cosentyx (300mg) to work to get 50% of the patients to have an ACR20 is just over 4 weeks.

By 16 weeks the number of psoriatic arthritis patients who had reached ARC20 was 62.6 %, and the percentage of patients who had reached ARC50 was 39.6%.

To measure the success of treatment for psoriatic arthritis medicines it is also important to look whether there is a reduction or stoppage of disease progression. In the FUTURE 5 study it showed that 91.8% of patients on Cosentyx 300mg had no radiographic disease progression throughout the 52 weeks studied.

How long does Cosentyx take to work for Ankylosing Spondylitis?

Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) response to medicines is measured by Assessment of SpondyloArthritis International Society (ASAS) response criteria. This looks at four different areas of assessment (called domains) of AS. An ASA20 is an improvement of at least 20%, plus an absolute improvement of 1 unit of three domains without a worsening of the other domain. An ASAS40 is an improvement of at least 40%.

When on Cosentyx (150mg) for ankylosing spondylitis the time it takes to get 50% of the patients to have an ASAS20 (20% improvement in AS) response is approximately 3 weeks. The ASA40 response at 3 weeks is over 20% and the number of patients in this group continues to increase up until 8 weeks.

By 16 weeks the number of patients who had an ASAS20 response in their AS had increased up to 61.1% of patients, and the number of patients who had an ASAS40 response was 36.1%.

Ankylosing spondylitis is a disease that causes health to worsen over time, if it is not treated. Success of ankylosing spondylitis treatment can also be measured by whether there is a reduction or halt of disease progression. In the MEASURE 1 study, x rays showed that 79% of patients on long term Cosentyx 150 mg therapy had no definite disease progression.

How long does Cosentyx take to work for Non-radiographic Axial Spondyloarthritis?

Non-radiographic Axial Spondyloarthritis response to medicines is measured by the percentage of people who have a 40% improvement in Assessment of Spondyloarthritis International Society (ASAS40).
In the clinical trial called nr-axSpA1 by 16 weeks 13% of patients with non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis had a response of ASA40 (40% improvement) and this increased to 19% by week 52. This was the difference between using placebo and Cosentyx 150 mg monthly.

What conditions is Cosentyx an approved medicine by the FDA?

Cosentyx is approved by the FDA to treat:

  • moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in adult patients who are candidates for systemic therapy or phototherapy
  • active psoriatic arthritis in adults
  • active ankylosing spondylitis in adults
  • non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA) with objective signs of inflammation.

Bottom line:

  • The time it takes to get a 50% skin clearance (PASI 50) for psoriasis is 3 weeks (median) when using 300mg dose of Cosentyx.
  • In psoriatic arthritis the time it takes for Cosentyx (300mg) to get 50% of the patients to have an ACR20 is just over 4 weeks.
  • When on a dose of 150mg Cosentyx for ankylosing spondylitis the time it takes to get 50% of the patients to have an ASA20 response is just 3 weeks. The ASA40 response at 3 weeks is over 20% and number of patients getting to ASA40 continues to increase up until 8 weeks.
  • For non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis 13% of patients have an ASA40 (40% improvement) at 16 weeks which increases up to 19% by 52 weeks. These figures are the difference between using placebo and Cosentyx 150 mg monthly.

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