What is Tremfya® (Guselkumab)?
Last updated: October 2020
There are many medications used to treat psoriatic arthritis. These medications are typically ones used to reduce inflammation, target specific components in the immune system, or are disease-modifying medications.1
Tremfya ® (guselkumab) is the first of its kind approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat active psoriatic arthritis. Guselkumab is the first selective interleukin (IL)-23 inhibitor used for active psoriatic arthritis.2
What immune response causes PsA?
The immune system has many complex parts. These parts all work together to create the defense mechanism we know as our immune system. These parts help to mount a defense on infection, disease, and injury.
One part of the immune system is cytokine. Cytokine is a specific type of protein that is involved in inflammation. These proteins are released by specific cells and act to signal the immune system to begin and continue inflammation.3
Inflammation is not always a bad thing. When you are injured or sick, it is this inflammatory response that helps heal the body and return to its normal state. Many cells, proteins, and chemicals are released in response to inflammation. Under normal circumstances, once the injury or illness stops, inflammation does as well.4
Chronic inflammation is different. For some reason, the body does not recognize that the injury or disease is gone. Instead, it continues to signal inflammation. This can lead to long-term damage to cells, tissues, and organs.
How does Tremfya work for psoriatic arthritis?
Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic inflammatory condition where the body is always signaling the inflammation parts of the immune system. One component that is key to the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis is a protein known as interleukin-23 (IL-23). IL-23 is a cytokine, a specific protein that is involved in inflammation. This protein is released by specific cells and signals the immune system to begin and continue inflammation.5
Tremfya inhibits IL-23, which means it works to block the action of this protein in the body. By blocking this, inflammation is decreased, improving symptoms of psoriatic arthritis.
What is the active ingredient in Tremfya?
The active ingredient in Tremfya is guselkumab, a selective IL-23 inhibitor.2
What are the possible side effects of Tremfya?
Every medication has possible side effects. It is important to be aware of the potential side effects when starting a new medication.
The most common side effects of Tremfya include:6
- Upper respiratory infections
- Joint pain (arthralgia)
- Fungal skin infections
- Herpes simplex infections
- Injection site reactions
- Stomach flu (gastroenteritis)
Tremfya may cause serious side effects, including:6
- Serious allergic reactions. Stop taking Tremfya and seek emergency treatment with any sign of allergic reaction. This may include trouble breathing, feeling faint or dizzy, swelling of your face or lips, chest tightness, rash or itching skin.
- Infections. Tremfya may lower your body’s ability to fight infection. Monitor for signs of infection in any area of your body. Your doctor will test you for tuberculosis (TB) before starting Tremfya.
These are not all the possible side effects of Tremfya. Talk to your doctor about what to expect or if you experience any changes that worry you.
Things to know about Tremfya
Because Tremfya can cause serious infections, be sure to talk to your doctor about the following:6
- Your health and medication history
- Any history of infections
- Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
- Recent vaccination or are scheduled for vaccination
- Have TB or have been exposed to someone with TB
- Are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed
For more information, read the full prescribing information of Tremfya.