Tremfya (guselkumab) is a prescription medication that treats psoriatic arthritis (psoriasis and pain and stiffness in your joints) and moderate to severe plaque psoriasis (itchy patches on your skin)

Tremfya (guselkumab) blocks interleukin 23 (IL-23), a pro-inflammatory cytokine that is one of the reasons for chronic immune-mediated diseases such as plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

Tremfya acts as a fully human monoclonal IgG1λ antibody that binds to the p19 subunit of interleukin (IL)-23 (occurring cytokine involved in normal inflammatory and immune responses) and interaction with the IL-23 receptor.

The blockage stops the release of cytokines and chemokines that cause inflammation.

Plaque psoriasis is a variant of psoriasis. Tremfya is part of biological therapy (medication that affects your whole body) or phototherapy (treatment with light).

It comes in the following forms:

  • Single-dose prefilled syringe
  • Single-dose one-press patient-controlled injector

Precautions and Warnings with Tremfya

Your doctor may not prescribe Tremfya if you are underage.

The effects of the medicine on pregnant women are unknown, and women should inform their healthcare providers if they are or plan on getting pregnant while taking the medication.

It is unknown whether Tremfya passes into breast milk or if it could affect the nursing baby.

Warnings

Tremfya may weaken your immune system and can put you at risk of infection. You should contact your healthcare provider if you have:

  • Skin sores
  • Respiratory issues
  • Cough
  • Problems in urinating (burning sensation or pain)
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight gain
  • Muscle pain
  • Chills
  • Sweat
  • Fever

Allergic Reactions

Your doctor will not prescribe you Tremfya if you are allergic to:

  • Guselkumab
  • Polysorbate 80

Precautions

You should inform your healthcare provider if you have a history of:

  • Tuberculosis
  • Fungal infections
  • Active or chronic infection or
  • Have an active untreated tuberculosis or
  • An untreated condition

Tremfya Side Effects

You should seek immediate medical assistance if you have an allergic reaction after taking Tremfya.  The medicine may suppress your immune system and put you at risk of a serious infection.

Doctors may switch or change the dosage of Tremfya for their patients if the risks of the side effects outweigh the benefits. This guarantees patient safety and compliance.  The doctor will assess the patient’s preferences and history before making their decision.

Common Side Effects

  • Bruising at the site of the injection
  • Joint pain
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Skin infections

Serious Side Effects

  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble urinating
  • Severe diarrhea or stomach cramps
  • Sores that look different from psoriasis
  • Skin redness
  • Tingling
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough

Drug Interactions with Tremfya

Tremfy targets IL-23 which minimizes systemic effects but it’s important for healthcare providers to consider potential interactions with other drugs to ensure safe treatment of their patient.

Doctors may discontinue treating patients with Tremfya as it compromises the patient’s safety or treatment efficacy.

It is pertinent to mention your healthcare provider may switch from Tremfya to an alternative treatment strategy to optimize outcomes for patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. It is important to monitor the patient’s condition before evaluating the ongoing benefits and risks of Tremfya therapy and make informed decisions regarding the treatment plan.

Tremfya, like any other medicine, is documented to interactions with commonly prescribed medications such as immunosuppressants or biologics which are prescribed for treating psoriasis treatment.  Healthcare providers ensure patient’s safety by closely monitoring and consultation with the patient and their family.

  • Clonazepam
  • Clobazam
  • Cyclosporine
  • Buprenorphine
  • Azathioprine
  • Tacrolimus
  • Lactobacillus
  • Fingolimod
  • Bifidobacterium
  • Infliximab
  • Adalimumab (Humira and Amgevita)
  • Covid-19/SARS-cov-2 vaccines
  • Hepatitis b vaccines
  • Measles
  • Cholera
  • Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG)

Strengths and Dosages of Tremfya

Tremfya comes as a liquid solution inside single-dose prefilled syringes and single-dose One-Press injectors in 100 milligrams/milliliter.

FormsStrengthsActive SubstanceInactive Substances
Syrine100 mgGuselkumabPurified water, sucrose, L-histidine, polysorbate 80, and L-histidine monohydrochloride monohydrate
One-Press Injector100 mgGuselkumabPurified water, sucrose, L-histidine, polysorbate 80, and L-histidine monohydrochloride monohydrate

Tremfya should be administered exactly as the doctor or the instructions on the product label.

The medicine is injected under the skin, and your healthcare provider may teach you how to inject the medicine at home. You should avoid injecting the medicine if you are facing any difficulties or are scared of needles.

The first two injections are administered after four weeks apart, followed by an injection every eight weeks. The treatment period will be determined by the doctor on the basis of your condition.

Tremfya should appear clear to light yellow in color. Do not use the medicine if it looks cloudy or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medicine.

Some important points you should remember when injecting Tremfya:

  • The medicine should be stored in the refrigerator
  • It should be protected from light and not frozen
  • The medicine should be allowed to reach room temperature for 30 minutes before injecting your dose.
  • You should not shake the prefilled syringe nor inject it into the psoriasis lesion
  • The dose should be prepared when you are ready to administer the dose.

Cost of Tremfya In America

The medicine is expensive but there are patient assistance and copay programs available that can help cover the cost.

Tremfya can set you back around $14,618 to $19,526.23 for a supply of 1 milliliter without insurance in the United States. The prices may vary depending on:

  • The pharmacy from where it was purchased
  • Insurance coverage
  • Treatment play

Why is Tremfya so expensive?

Tremfya is expensive because it is a brand drug without a generic alternative. Apart from being a brand medicine, it is a specialty medication that treats complex, chronic, or rare conditions. These medications have limited distribution and require special handling which adds to the high pricing.

Tremfya Alternatives

A doctor may switch a patient to these alternatives of Tremfya depending on the patient’s condition, the efficacy of the medicine, and the side effects and interactions caused by it.

Each alternative has its advantages, and side effects which makes it important to discuss it with your healthcare provider who will tailor your treatment plan according to your condition.

Tremfya is also available in the market as:

FAQs of Tremfya

What is Tremfya used for?

Tremfya is a brand-name prescription medicine that treats moderate to severe plaque among adults who may benefit from taking injections pills or phototherapy.

How does Tremfya work?

Tremfya blocks interleukin-23 (IL-23) by inhibiting IL-23 which reduces inflammation and symptoms of psoriasis.

How long do Tremfya side effects last?

The side effects of Tremfya can vary among individuals, with injection site reactions going away on their own within a few days to weeks. You should contact your healthcare provider if you experience serious side effects.

Who makes Tremfya?

Janssen Biotech, Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, manufactures Tremfya.

How long can Tremfya be out of the fridge?

Tremfya should be stored in a refrigerator between 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C).

How to inject Tremfya?

Tremfya is administered as an injection under the skin.

How long does it take for Tremfya to work?

Tremfya starts working a few weeks to months, although individual responses. Some patients may feel relief sooner than others.

How long does Tremfya stay in your system?

Tremfya stays inside the system for between 14 to 18 days. It could take several months for Tremfya to leave the system after stopping treatment.

What should you avoid while taking Tremfya?

You should avoid receiving vaccines as it increases the chances of psoriasis flares depending on individual circumstances.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. It should not be taken as an endorsement of any specific medication or treatment. Individual health conditions and responses to treatment can vary greatly; therefore, this information should not be seen as a guarantee of safety, suitability, or effectiveness for any particular individual. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized medical advice and before making any decisions regarding your health or treatment plans.

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