Stelara (ustekinumab) is an immunosuppressant that reduces the effects of a chemical substance in the body that can cause inflammation.
Stelara is used to treat plaque psoriasis (raised, silvery flaking of the skin) in adults.
You should not use Stelara if you are allergic to ustekinumab or if you have received a BCG (Bacillus Calmette and Guérin) vaccine within the past year (12 months).
BCG vaccine should not be given for at least 1 year after you receive your last dose of Stelara.
Before using Stelara, tell your doctor if you have an active infection, a history of tuberculosis or recurrent infections, high blood pressure, a weak immune system, or if you are receiving phototherapy (light therapy).
Your doctor may perform tests to make sure you do not have tuberculosis or other infections.
Make sure you are current on all vaccines before you start treatment with Stelara.
Stelara can make it easier for you to get sick. Avoid being near people who have colds, the flu, or other contagious illnesses.
Contact your doctor right away if you have signs of infection such as fever, chills, sore throat, flu symptoms, swollen glands, unusual weakness, mouth and throat ulcers, rapid heart rate, rapid and shallow breathing, swelling or redness, pain or burning when you urinate, blood in your urine, severe stomach pain, changes in your bowel habits, cough with yellow or green mucus, stabbing chest pain, or severe headache with confusion, vision problems, or seizure.
Treatment with Stelara may increase your risk of developing cancer. Talk to your doctor about your individual risk.
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Stelara: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
- signs of infection such as fever, chills, sore throat, flu symptoms, swollen glands, unusual weakness;
- mouth and throat ulcers, rapid heart rate, rapid and shallow breathing, fainting;
- swelling, pain, tenderness, or redness anywhere on your body;
- pain or burning when you urinate, blood in your urine;
- stomach pain that is sudden and severe or comes on slowly, changes in bowel habits (diarrhea or constipation);
- cough with yellow or green mucus;
- stabbing chest pain, feeling short of breath; or
- severe headache, confusion, change in mental status, vision problems, and/or seizure (convulsions).
Less serious Stelara side effects may include:
- cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat;
- headache, tired feeling;
- mild diarrhea; or
- mild skin rash or itching.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.