To compare effectiveness of treatment with secukinumab (SEC) with that of alternative tumour necrosis factor inhibitors (TNFis) in patients with axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA) after withdrawal from one or more TNFis.Patients diagnosed as having axSpA in the Swiss Clinical Quality Management cohort were included if they had initiated SEC (n=106) or an alternative TNFi (n=284) after experiencing TNFi failure. Drug retention was investigated with matching weights propensity score (PS) analyses and multiple adjusted Cox proportional hazards models. Matching weights PS-based analyses and multiple-adjusted logistic regression analyses were used to assess the proportion of patients reaching 50% reduction in the Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (BASDAI50) at 1 year.SEC was more often used as third-line or later-line biological drug (76% vs 40% for TNFi). Patients starting SEC had higher BASDAI, Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Functional Index, Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Metrology Index and C reactive protein levels. A comparable risk of drug discontinuation was found for SEC versus TNFi (HR 1.14, 95% CI 0.78 to 1.68 in the PS-based analysis and HR 1.16, 95% CI 0.79 to 1.71 in the multiple-adjusted analysis). No significant difference in BASDAI50 responses at 1 year was demonstrated between the two modes of biological drug action, with CI of estimates being, however, wide (OR for SEC vs TNFi 0.76, 95% CI 0.26 to 2.18 and 0.78, 95% CI 0.24 to 2.48 in the PS-based and the covariate-adjusted model, respectively).Our data suggest a comparable effectiveness of SEC versus an alternative TNFi after prior TNFi exposure.