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Stelara (Ustekinumab)

$13,971.00

Stelara, a remarkable monoclonal antibody, falls under the category of interleukin (IL) inhibitors—a class of medicines that wields transformative power against autoimmune ailments. Elevated levels of interleukin-12 (IL-12) and interleukin-23 (IL-23) proteins are often associated with autoimmune disorders. Stelara steps in by thwarting these proteins, leading to decreased inflammation, pain, swelling, and skin-related symptoms.

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Description

Stelara, a remarkable monoclonal antibody, falls under the category of interleukin (IL) inhibitors—a class of medicines that wields transformative power against autoimmune ailments. Elevated levels of interleukin-12 (IL-12) and interleukin-23 (IL-23) proteins are often associated with autoimmune disorders. Stelara steps in by thwarting these proteins, leading to decreased inflammation, pain, swelling, and skin-related symptoms.

Having received FDA approval on September 25, 2009, Stelara initially targeted moderate to severe psoriasis in adults. Its efficacy has since extended to multiple conditions:

  • Psoriasis: Offering a reprieve from the torment of itchy, red, and scaly skin patches, Stelara redefines the management of chronic psoriasis by addressing its root cause—immune dysregulation.
  • Psoriatic Arthritis: For those battling joint pain and stiffness in tandem with psoriasis, Stelara’s unique approach brings relief to both skin and joints, significantly enhancing quality of life.
  • Crohn’s Disease: Stelara’s impact reaches the digestive realm, as it tames the overactive immune response in Crohn’s disease, aiding in healing and inflammation reduction.
  • Ulcerative Colitis: Alleviating ulcerative colitis—marked by colon and rectum inflammation and ulcers—Stelara’s precision immune modulation is a powerful tool against this inflammatory bowel disease.

To address Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, Stelara employs an intravenous (IV) infusion, followed by subsequent subcutaneous injections. These injections, whether self-administered or by a healthcare professional, continue to redefine treatment outcomes.

Additional information

Usage

Usage
-Ustekinumab, in its liquid form, is administered through subcutaneous injection (under the skin). The treatment schedule involves an initial two doses every 4 weeks, followed by injections every 12 weeks. The process begins with your healthcare provider's administration of the first dose in their office. Subsequent injections can be self-administered or done by a caregiver under your doctor's guidance.
Your doctor or pharmacist will demonstrate the correct injection technique, ensuring accuracy. When using ustekinumab injection for the first time, carefully read the provided instructions. If using prefilled syringes or vials, employ them for single use, injecting all the solution. Discard used needles, syringes, and devices in a puncture-resistant container, as directed.
Avoid shaking prefilled syringes or vials containing ustekinumab. Always assess the solution before injection—ensure clarity or a slight yellow tint. A few visible white particles are acceptable. Never use damaged, expired, frozen, cloudy, or particle-laden solutions.
Administer ustekinumab injection in areas like the thighs, upper outer arms, buttocks, or abdomen—excluding the navel and a 2-inch radius around it. For each injection, vary the site to minimize discomfort or redness. Avoid tender, bruised, red, hardened, or scarred areas.

Side Effects

Side Effects
Every medical treatment, including Stelara, carries potential side effects that merit consideration. Acquiring a thorough understanding of these effects empowers you to engage in informed discussions with your healthcare provider, making choices aligned with your well-being.
Unveiling Common Side Effects
● Gastrointestinal Discomfort: Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are common during Stelara treatment's initial phase. Typically mild, these issues tend to fade as your body adjusts. Staying hydrated and maintaining a balanced diet can alleviate these symptoms.
● Skin Responses: Paradoxically, skin reactions like mild rashes or itching can occur due to Stelara. Often short-lived, these reactions can be managed with over-the-counter creams.
● Headache and Fatigue: Headaches and fatigue are frequent companions during early Stelara treatment. Adequate rest, hydration, and healthcare provider discussions can help manage these symptoms.
● Respiratory Symptoms: Some individuals experience minor respiratory symptoms such as runny noses, which usually abate with time. If they persist, seek advice from your healthcare provider.
Uncovering Rare Side Effects
● Allergic Reactions: Rare but serious, allergic reactions might include breathing difficulties, swelling, or hives. Swift medical attention is imperative.
● Blood and Liver: Rare instances of blood disorders or elevated liver enzymes have been noted. Regular monitoring is essential to manage these uncommon effects.
Facing Serious Side Effects
● Infections: Severe infections, bacterial or viral, can arise, affecting different body systems. Address signs promptly and alert your healthcare provider to symptoms.
● Cancer Risk: Though rare, Stelara’s potential link to certain cancers warrants discussion with your healthcare provider, ensuring informed decisions.
● Neurological Signals: Extremely uncommon, neurological symptoms like vision changes or weakness necessitate immediate medical attention.
● Pregnancy and Fertility: Considering childbearing age, explore Stelara’s impact on pregnancy and fertility through healthcare provider consultations.

Storage

Storage
Preserving Stelara's potency and preventing potential harm hinges on appropriate storage. Adhere to these guidelines to ensure optimal conditions:
● Inspect Packaging: Upon receiving Stelara, meticulously assess its packaging for any damage. Refrain from using compromised packaging, as it shields the medication from external factors affecting its quality.
● Temperature Range: Store Stelara within 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C) in the refrigerator. Retain the medication in its original packaging to shield it from light and temperature shifts. Avoid freezing, which could impair its composition.
● Sunlight Shielding: Direct sunlight exposure can degrade Stelara's active components. Safeguard the medication in a cool, shaded place, steering clear of windows and UV radiation sources.
● Moisture Protection: Humidity jeopardizes Stelara's integrity. Opt for a dry storage environment, eschewing bathrooms with elevated moisture levels.
● Original Container: Maintain Stelara within its original container, preserving the intact label. This practice offers accurate information at your fingertips and diminishes confusion with other medications.
● Expiration Vigilance: Always verify the expiration date on Stelara's packaging. If expired, abstain from using the medication to ensure the desired therapeutic effects.

Precautions

Precautions
For your safety, it's not recommended to use Stelara if you:
● Are allergic to ustekinumab or any inactive ingredients.
● Have active tuberculosis.
● Received a BCG (Bacillus Calmette and Guérin) vaccine in the past 12 months.
Be sure to inform your doctor if you've had tuberculosis before, if someone in your household has it, or if you've recently visited an area where tuberculosis is prevalent.
Stelara might not be suitable for you if you have:
● Symptoms of infection (fever, chills, cough, muscle aches, painful skin sores, diarrhea, difficulty urinating, fatigue).
● Chronic infections.
● New or changing skin lesions.
● Latex allergy triggered by the needle cover on the prefilled syringe.
● Undergoing light therapy (phototherapy).
● Allergy vaccinations.
● If you or someone in your household requires live vaccines, as they may pose risks to individuals with weakened immune systems.
Some Stelara users have developed non-melanoma skin cancer, often with higher preexisting risk factors. Discuss this with your doctor and be vigilant about skin symptoms. Regular skin exams might be necessary.

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