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Is Tremfya a biological?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on Aug 13, 2021.

Official answer

by Drugs.com
  • Yes, Tremfya is a biological medicine approved to treat adults with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis and adults with active psoriatic arthritis.
  • A biological medicine is a large complex molecule made from living organisms using specialized technology.
  • Tremfya (guselkumab) is classified as a monoclonal antibody and works by blocking Interleukin-23 (IL-23), a cytokine protein that plays a key role in the inflammation and immune response of plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

Examples of other prescription biologic treatments used for the treatment of plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis include:

  • Cosentyx (secukinumab): blocks IL-17
  • Enbrel (etanercept): blocks Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF)
  • Humira (adalimumab): blocks Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF)

Related: See a full list of Interleukin (IL) Inhibitors

How is Tremfya used?

Plaque psoriasis

For plaque psoriasis, Tremfya is used in patients who are eligible for systemic therapy (injections or pills) or phototherapy (treatment using ultraviolet light).

  • In clinical studies, at least 70% of patients (7 out of 10) saw at least 90% clearer skin after 16 weeks of treatment with Tremfya.
  • More than 80% of patients were clear or almost clear. Most patients (90%) who had 90% clearer skin at 28 weeks continued to see it at 48 weeks.
  • In one study, 70% of patients still had 90% clearer skin at 5 years.

Improvement in skin itching, pain, stinging, burning and skin tightness were observed when compared to a placebo.

Tremfya was approved by the FDA for treatment of plaque psoriasis in July 2017.

Psoriatic arthritis

Tremfya is also approved to treat active psoriatic arthritis in adults. It can help relieve joint pain, stiffness and swelling, and allow a person to perform everyday tasks, such as bathing, reaching up, eating and walking, a bit easier. Fatigue may be reduced as well.

  • In studies of patients with psoriatic arthritis, greater than 50% (more than 5 out of 10) of patients who received Tremfya had a 20% improvement in psoriatic arthritis symptoms at 24 weeks.
  • At 24 weeks, an improvement in skin plaques was also seen.

Tremfya was approved by the FDA for treatment of psoriatic arthritis in July 2020.

Dosing

Tremfy is given as a 100 mg subcutaneous injection every 8 weeks after 2 initial starter doses.

It is available as a self-administered injection. You, or your caregiver, can learn how to inject the medicine yourself, after training from your healthcare provider.

Side effects

Tremfya may cause serious side effects, like serious allergic reactions and infections.

Common side effects may include upper respiratory infections, headache, injection site reactions, and joint pain (arthralgia), diarrhea, stomach virus, fungal skin infections, herpes simplex infections, and bronchitis.

This is not all the information you need to know about Tremfya (guselkumab) for safe and effective use and does not take the place of talking to your doctor about your treatment. Review the full product information here, and discuss this information and any questions you have with your doctor or other health care provider.

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