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What Is Ustekinumab Used For?

Ustekinumab is licensed for the treatment of plaque psoriasis in people with moderate-to-severe cases of the disease. It can also be used to treat psoriatic arthritis. At this time, the medication is approved for use in adults only. Ustekinumab might also be useful for treating other types of psoriasis -- however, this is considered an "off-label" application of the drug.

An Overview of the Uses for Ustekinumab

Ustekinumab (Stelara®) is a prescription medication licensed to treat moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis in adults who are candidates for phototherapy or systemic therapy (medications that are taken by mouth or by injection). Ustekinumab is also approved to treat active psoriatic arthritis in adults, either used alone or in combination with methotrexate.

Using Ustekinumab for Plaque Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease that is thought to be caused by an overactive immune system (see Psoriasis Causes for more information). There are several different types of psoriasis, but ustekinumab is only approved to treat plaque psoriasis. The symptoms of psoriasis may vary, depending on the type. Plaque psoriasis is characterized by thickened, swollen, and red skin, often covered with silver scales.
Psoriasis treatment may include:
  • Medicines applied to the skin (topical treatment)
  • Light treatments (phototherapy)
  • Psoriasis medication, whether by mouth or injection, that treats the whole immune system (called systemic therapy).
Ustekinumab is a type of systemic therapy.

Using Ustekinumab for Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis is a form of joint inflammation in people with psoriasis. Not all people with psoriasis will develop it. Some psoriatic arthritis symptoms include painfully inflamed joints and changes in the eyes and the fingernails.
Ustekinumab is used to treat psoriatic arthritis in adults, either alone or in combination with methotrexate.

Ustekinumab Drug Information

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