In this drug factsheet:
How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Ustekinumab belongs to the class of medications called selective immunomodulating agents, also known as biologics. It is used to treat chronic, moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis. It works by blocking the action of 2 proteins in the body that are part of the immune system. This decreases the activity of parts of the immune system that are believed to be involved in psoriasis.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are being given this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop using this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to use this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
How should I use this medication?
The usual dose is 45 mg injected under the skin. The dose is repeated in 4 weeks, and then every 12 weeks thereafter. Some people may need to receive this medication every 8 weeks. The dose may be injected on top of the thigh or around the abdomen (about 2 inches away from the belly button). For people who weigh more than 100 kg, a dose of 90 mg may be used.
Most people using this medication can be trained by a health care professional to give themselves the injection. Ustekinumab is used with the guidance and supervision of a doctor. Your doctor or nurse will assist you in the preparation and injection of your first dose (or first few doses). Do not attempt to inject this medication on your own until you completely understand how to inject a dose.
Follow the instructions from your doctor or pharmacist when administering the medication. The solution should be colourless or slightly yellow and may contain a few small clear or white particles of protein. Do not use the injection if it appears cloudy or discoloured, or if you see other particles floating in it. After taking the medication out of the refrigerator, preparing the syringe, and choosing the injection site, inject the dose under the skin as instructed by your health care provider.
Use a different site for each injection to decrease the risk of skin irritation. Dispose of your used needles in an appropriate sharps container.
Many things can affect the dose of a medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are using the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important that this medication be given exactly as recommended by your doctor. If you miss a dose and your psoriasis has not come back, inject the dose as soon as you remember. Do not inject a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you miss a dose and your psoriasis returns, contact your doctor. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store this medication in the refrigerator, protect it from light, and keep it out of the reach of children. Do not freeze or shake the medication.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Each mL of sterile solution contains ustekinumab 90 mg. It is available as a pre-filled syringe containing 45 mg (0.5 mL) of ustekinumab. Nonmedicinal ingredients: L-histidine, L-histidine monohydrochloride monohydrate, polysorbate 80, sucrose, and water for injection.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not use this medication if you:
- are allergic to ustekinumab or any ingredients of this medication
- have severe infections such as sepsis (bacterial infections that have spread throughout the body), tuberculosis, and opportunistic infections (infections that occur in people with weakened immune systems)