OverviewDosageSide EffectsInteractionsHalf-Life

Generic Name: Ustekinumab

Brands: Stelara

Class: Skin and Mucous Membrane Agents/Biologic Immunosuppressive

Availability: Prescription Required

Molecular Formula: C6482H10004N1712O2016S46

Substance UNII: FU7784U2Z0

What is Stelara?

Stelara is a biologic immunosuppressive (immune-suppressing) agent. It is the brand name for the generic drug ustekinumab.

What is Stelara Used For?

Stelara is for the treatment of plaque psoriasis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and psoriatic arthritis. It also has approval in some countries, including the United States, for the treatment of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (UC) when traditional options fail to work. 

How Does Stelara Work?

Stelara blocks interleukin-12 (IL-12) and interleukin-23 (IL-23), which activate certain T cells (a type of immune-system cell) to trigger the body’s inflammatory response. It binds to the p-40 subunits of interleukin-12 (IL-12) and interleukin-23 (IL-23), preventing the proteins from binding to their receptors. In other words, ustekinumab helps to suppress parts of the immune system, which is crucial for controlling symptoms of autoimmune disorders like Crohn’s disease and psoriasis.

How Long Does it Take for Stelara to Work?

Those taking Stelara for psoriasis can see clearer skin in 12 weeks. It may take up to 24 weeks to show improvement in the treatment of psoriatic arthritis. On the other hand, individuals taking this medication for the treatment of Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis can see a decrease in symptoms between three to six weeks after the initial infusion. 

Do Not Use Stelara If:

There are several situations where this medication may not be the right choice for you. According to the FDA, the following should not use Stelara:

  • Have a history of an allergic reaction to Stelara or its components

Please note that this list may not be complete, and there may be other situations where ustekinumab use is not advisable.

Disclaimer: this article does not constitute or replace medical advice. If you have an emergency or a serious medical question, please contact a medical professional or call 911 immediately. To see our full medical disclaimer, visit our Terms of Use page.

More About Stelara


Written by

Fact Checked by