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psoriatic arthritis

Instructions for administration4

If you and your healthcare team decide that self-injecting Stelara® is right for you, then one of the Homecare nurses will train you on how to administer the medicine.

Please see the video for instructions on how to administer Stelara® by injection under the skin (‘subcutaneously’). Alternatively, instructions can also be found towards the end of the Patient Information Leaflet (PIL): Stelara® 45 mg for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

instructions for administration

How often to take Stelara®3

The first dose of the treatment is administered by a 45 mg subcutaneous injection (under the skin), followed by another 45 mg dose 4 weeks later, then a 45 mg dose every 12 weeks. If you weigh over 100 kg, you may receive 90 mg instead of 45 mg at every dose.3

The dosing schedule for a patient with psoriatic arthritis receiving their first dose on 1st January is displayed below.




















= Injection due

Do you have questions about your dose?

Speak to your doctor or nurse if:

  • You are unsure when your next dose is due
  • You use more medication than you should have, such as receiving a larger dose or using it sooner than planned
  • You forget to administer a dose
  • You would like to stop using Stelara®; your symptoms may return if you stop treatment

The Stelara® treatment journey:
Year one

If you have moderate to severe psoriatic arthritis and have been prescribed Stelara®, you may be wondering how often you will be given it and what might happen during the course of treatment. If so, read below to view the treatment journey, informed by research on how Stelara® has helped other patients.

week 0: the starter dose

Your first dose may be given by a healthcare professional at your hospital, or by a nurse visiting your home, who may also train you to inject yourself if the clinical team agree.

For more information on receiving your medication at home, please refer to the Homecare section or download the Homecare booklet.

week 4: the second starter dose

Around 30-38% of clinical trial patients experienced benefits as early as 4 weeks,10 but it may take up to 24 weeks for the full effects to take hold.3

first maintenance dose

Noticing any changes?

It may be helpful to use a journal or take pictures to document changes in your condition. If you experience any negative symptoms, contact your healthcare professional immediately.

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week 4: the second starter dose

week 8

Just over half of patients in clinical trials experienced significant improvements in the number and severity of their tender and swollen joints by week 8.10

week 16: the first maintenance dose

You will now receive your medication once every 12 weeks.3

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week 24

A significant number of patients studied experienced improvements in pain, stiffness and swelling at joint connections, reduced skin problems associated with psoriasis,11 and a lower risk of long-term joint damage by week 24.12

Questions about your treatment?

Stay in contact with your healthcare team throughout your treatment and ask them any questions you have about your treatment or condition.

week 28: the second maintenance dose

week 28

Almost half of clinical trial patients experienced significant benefits in their joint symptoms with Stelara® by week 28.13 If your psoriatic arthritis hasn’t responded by now, your doctor may consider other treatment options.3

As with any clinical trial, patients are selected based upon strict criteria, such as not having another progressive or uncontrolled medical condition, to avoid the data being influenced by their effects.

In real-world practice, patients taking Stelara® may have other medical conditions or other factors not allowed in the clinical trials. This means clinical trial data does not necessarily reflect real-world treatment, and so your response may differ to patients in these trials.

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week 40: the third maintenance dose

You’ve almost completed your first year on Stelara®!

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week 52: one year in

Your first year on Stelara® is complete! Clinical trials show symptom improvements are generally sustained through week 52.10,12,13 You will continue to have check-ups with your healthcare professional, to make sure your psoriatic arthritis is still responding well to treatment and you’re happy with your medication.

If you have concerns or questions at any point, contact your healthcare professional.

after year one

Beyond the first year, current data shows that patients who experience treatment benefits generally maintain their improvements through to 2 years.14

What you need to know before you use Stelara®

Do not use Stelara®4 - +

  • If you are allergic to ustekinumab or any of the other ingredients of this medicine
  • If you have an active infection which your doctor thinks is important

Warnings and precautions4 - +

Talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse before using Stelara®.

  • Make sure you tell your doctor about any illness you have before each treatment
  • Tell your doctor if you have recently been near anyone who might have tuberculosis
  • Your doctor will examine you and do a test for tuberculosis, before you receive this treatment. If your doctor thinks you are at risk of tuberculosis, you may be given medicines to treat it
  • Stelara® can cause serious side effects, including allergic reactions and infections. You must look out for certain signs of illness whilst taking this treatment

Before you use Stelara® tell your doctor4 - +

  • If you ever had an allergic reaction to Stelara®. Ask your doctor if you are not sure
  • If you have ever had any type of cancer – this is because immunosuppressants like Stelara® weaken part of the immune system. This may increase the risk of cancer
  • If you have or have had a recent infection
  • If you have any new or changing lesions within psoriasis areas or on normal skin
  • If you are having any other treatment for psoriasis and/or psoriatic arthritis – such as another immunosuppressant or phototherapy (when your body is treated with a type of ultraviolet (UV) light). These treatments may also weaken part of the immune system. Using these therapies together with Stelara® has not been studied. However it is possible it may increase the chance of diseases related to a weaker immune system
  • If you are having or have ever had injections to treat allergies – it is not known if this treatment may affect these
  • If you are 65 years of age or over – you may be more likely to get infections

Other medicines, vaccines and Stelara®4 - +

Tell your doctor or pharmacist:

  • If you are taking, have recently taken or might take any other medicines
  • If you have recently had or are going to have a vaccination. Some types of vaccines (live vaccines) should not be given while using this treatment

Pregnancy and breast-feeding4 - +

  • It is preferable to avoid the use of Stelara® in pregnancy. The effects of this treatment in pregnant women are not known. If you are a woman of childbearing potential, you are advised to avoid becoming pregnant and must use adequate contraception while using this treatment and for at least 15 weeks after the last Stelara® dose
  • Talk to your doctor if you are pregnant, think you may be pregnant or are planning to have a baby
  • Talk to your doctor if you are breast-feeding or are planning to breast-feed. You and your doctor should discuss this to decide if therapy should be discontinued taking into account the benefit of breast-feeding to the child and the benefit of the treatment to you

Driving and using machines4 - +

Stelara® has no or negligible influence on the ability to drive and use machines.

Possible side effects4

Reporting side effects

In the UK, you can report side effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme at: or search for MHRA Yellow Card in the Google Play or Apple App Store.

What are the side effects?

All medicines can cause side effects, but not everyone gets them. If you do experience side effects these are usually mild to moderate.
If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Common side effects:4

(may affect up to 1 in 10 people)

  • Diarrhoea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Feeling tired
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Headache
  • Itching (‘pruritus’)
  • Back, muscle or joint pain
  • Sore throat
  • Redness and pain where the injection is given

Uncommon side effects:4

(may affect up to 1 in 100 people)

  • Tooth infections
  • Vaginal yeast infection
  • Depression
  • Blocked or stuffy nose
  • Bleeding, bruising, hardness, swelling and itching where the injection is given
  • Feeling weak
  • Drooping eyelid and sagging muscles on one side of the face (‘facial palsy’ or ‘Bell’s palsy’), which is usually temporary
  • A change in psoriasis with redness and new tiny, yellow or white skin blisters, sometimes accompanied by fever (pustular psoriasis)
  • Peeling of the skin (skin exfoliation)
  • Acne

Rare side effects:4

(may affect up to 1 in 1000 people)

  • Redness and shedding of skin over a larger area of the body, which may be itchy or painful (exfoliative dermatitis). Similar symptoms sometimes develop as a natural change in the type of psoriasis symptoms (erythrodermic psoriasis)

If you experience the following serious side effects, you should tell your doctor or seek medical help straight away, as you may need urgent treatment:4

Serious allergic reactions (‘anaphylaxis’), indicated by:4

  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Low blood pressure
  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Swelling of the face, lips, mouth or throat
  • Common signs of less serious allergic reactions include skin rash and hives

Shedding of the skin, indicated by:4

  • An increase in redness and shedding of skin over a larger area of the body - this could be a sign of a more serious skin condition

Signs of infection. Infections may be located in the nose, throat, chest, skin or elsewhere, indicated by:4

  • Fever
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Night sweats
  • Feeling tired or short of breath
  • Cough which will not go away
  • Warm, red and painful skin
  • Painful skin rash with blisters
  • Burning when passing urine
  • Diarrhoea