Ustekinumab is used to treat plaque psoriasis (a type of skin disease that is caused by itchy patches of thick, red skin and silvery scales).
This medicine may also be used to treat psoriatic arthritis (joint pain and swelling with inflammation of the skin) or Crohn’s disease (long-term inflammatory disease of the bowel).
Your doctor or nurse will administer the injection for you. If you or a caregiver had been given the proper training on the preparation and injection techniques of Ustekinumab, you or your caregiver may do the administration.
Use this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not administer more or less than instructed by your doctor.
Ustekinumab is to be injected subcutaneously (into the fatty layer under the skin, usually in the thigh, upper arm or abdomen area).
Remember to rotate the injection sites. Do not inject into the same area all the time. New injection sites should be at least 1.5 inches away from the previous injection site. Do not inject in areas where the skin is tender, bruised, red, hard or not intact. near the navel (belly button). Do not inject into skin involved with psoriasis, if possible.
This medicine is available as a pre-filled pen or syringe. Make sure you know how to use the specific device you have been given. If you have problems or do not understand the instructions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
To administer this medicine using an injection pen:
- Prepare the injection pen as instructed by your doctor or nurse.
- Attach the needle to the injection pen. Ensure that the needle is screwed on securely.
- Dial the correct dose.
- Swab the injection site area with alcohol.
- Hold the injection pen with your thumb over the injection button.
- Press the injection pen against your body using the subcutaneous injection method.
- Use your thumb to push the injection button until it stops. Continue to hold the injection button in that position while slowly counting to 5 to get a full dose.
- Withdraw the injection pen from your body.
- Remove the needle from the pen. Never store the injection pen with the needle attached.
- Reset your pen as instructed by your healthcare provider.
- Use a new needle in every administration of Ustekinumab.
To administer this medicine using an injection syringe:
- Prepare the injection syringe as instructed by your doctor or nurse.
- Remove the prepared syringe and needle from the vial and hold the injection syringe with your thumb over the plunger.
- Insert the needle against your body using the subcutaneous injection method.
- Gently press the plunger all the way down until the syringe is empty.
- Slowly let go of the skin and gently pull the needle out of the skin. Do not recap the needle.
- Dispose your used needles and syringes according to your doctor or pharmacist’s instructions. Do not throw away in household trash.
The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the dose and course of the treatment depending on your condition.
This medicine must be administered regularly for it to be effective. Continue using Ustekinumab even when you feel better. Do not stop using it unless instructed by the doctor.
Ensure that you keep all appointments with your doctor so that you do not miss any doses. Your doctor also needs to regularly monitor your response to Ustekinumab.
If you miss an appointment or miss an injection, alert your doctor or nurse. A replacement appointment or injection should be given as soon as possible.
If you or a caregiver had been trained to administer this medicine, inject the missed dose as soon as you remember and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose to make up for a missed dose.
If you often forget to use your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Alert your doctor if you
have any active or severe infection (such as tuberculosis) as Ustekinumab may
not be suitable for you.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- active or history of repeated infections
- history of tb (an infection known as tuberculosis) or have been in close contact to someone with these condition
- history of cancer or tumour growth
- receiving allergy immunotherapy (a treatment that prevent allergic reactions)
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Inform your doctor if you have been recently vaccinated. Do not receive any vaccinations without first asking your doctor.
Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving Ustekinumab to a child >12 years old. Children may be more sensitive to the side effects.
Why is it important to keep my appointments with the doctor?
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
- Before starting treatment with Ustekinumab, your doctor will need a tuberculosis (TB) test (e.g. tuberculin skin test, chest x-ray).
- Your doctor may also need to do routine blood tests (e.g. complete blood count, tissue injury and inflammation marker tests) while you are being treated with this medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have tests.
Ustekinumab may cause dizziness. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert or need to see clearly.
Other side effects include any of the following: headache, inflammation of throat or nose, throat pain, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, skin itch, back or muscle pain, joint pain, tiredness, and redness and pain at site of injection.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- rashes, breathlessness, swelling of the face, eyes or mouth
- confusion, headache, seizures or fits and change in vision
- cough and shortness of breath
- widespread skin rash, peeling, shedding and itch of skin
- signs of infection such as fever, tiredness, cough and flu-like symptoms
- signs of tumour growth such as unusual lumps or swollen glands, unusual skin changes or unexpected weight loss
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Avoid live vaccine vaccination during treatment with Ustekinumab.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are using medicines which may suppress your immune system e.g. natalizumab, infliximab.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in the refrigerator, between 2-8°C. Do not freeze Ustekinumab otherwise it will no longer be effective and should not be used. Protect from light. Do not shake.
If you notice that the injection has changed colour or has become cloudy, do not use it. Throw it away and use a new injection.
Throw away any unused solution.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.