In March 2016, the FDA approved a new medication called ixekizumab (under the brand name Taltz) for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis and moderate-to-severe cases of plaque psoriasis. Ixekizumab is a biologic drug taken intravenously via injections. Biologic drugs are manufactured using living organisms in the lab.
This biologic drug is approved to be used in the treatment of those who have had no success with standard topical therapies and may be combined with the use of phototherapy. Ixekizumab is classified as a systemic medication and relieves the symptoms of plaque psoriasis by targeting the immune system response that causes inflammation. Ixekizumab as a form of maintenance therapy needs to be used continuously for optimal results as plaque psoriasis is chronic and recurrent by nature.
If you think your symptoms are too severe and you may benefit from ixekizumab, discuss with your doctor whether this medication is a right fit for your condition
How Ixekizumab Works
Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the skin due to an immune system response that produces inflammation. This inflammation leads to the growth of new skin cells at an abnormally speedy rate without allowing enough time for the old skin cells to slough. With this fast production of new skin cells, psoriasis plaques appear in the outermost layer of the skin where they accumulate.
Proteins known as cytokines play a role in causing inflammation; in psoriasis, a type of cytokine known as interleukin 17A (IL-17A) is the root cause of the inflammation brought on by psoriasis. Ixekizumab works by targeting and attaching itself to the IL-17A proteins which, in turn, lessens inflammation and helps control the symptoms of psoriasis. Based on the data provided by the clinical studies, 90% of individuals with psoriasis who used ixekizumab for 12 weeks saw about a 75% improvement in their psoriasis symptoms.
Side Effects of Ixekizumab
The most common adverse side effects of ixekizumab include reactions on injection sites and infections of the upper respiratory system. Ixekizumab is a potent medication that works by targeting the immune system, which is what the body depends on to ward off infection and disease. So, if you experience any of the following symptoms, get in contact with your physician as soon as possible:
– Muscle/joint pain
– Fever accompanied by coughing and shortness of breath
– Stomach aches, diarrhea, and weight loss
– Painful blisters
– Bloody mucus discharge
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