Also known as Stelara, ustekinumab targets a part of the immune system involved in psoriasis. It is given as a shot. It can be a very effective treatment. 

The dose of depends on your weight. Tell your doctor if you have changes in your weight during treatment.

Side effects of ustekinumab

  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Upper respiratory infections (colds)

Rare but serious side effects of ustekinumab

  • Higher risk of getting infections, such as tuberculosis and hepatitis B and C.
    • You should be checked for these infections before starting this medicine.
    • Stop the medicine and call your doctor if you have signs of infection.
  • Higher risk of certain cancers and a serious brain condition.
    • Tell your doctor if you have a personal or family history of multiple sclerosis.
  • Serious allergic reaction.
    • Tell your doctor if you have a latex allergy.

Vaccines and ustekinumab

Get a flu shot each year, unless you have been told not to by your doctor. Talk with your doctor before getting live vaccines.

Some live vaccines

  • Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR)
  • Nasal flu mist
  • Varicella
  • Zostavax (shingles)
  • Yellow fever
  • Typhoid
  • Live poliovirus

Pregnancy and ustekinumab

Talk to your doctor before trying to get pregnant. Right now there is no known risk of harm to the baby when this medicine is taken during pregnancy.

Last reviewed: 
August 2018

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