Frequently Asked Questions About Taltz® (Ixekizumab)
Class: Biological Therapy
Reviewed by C. H. Weaver M.D., Medical Editor 8/1/2018
How is Taltz® used? Taltz® is approved for adult patients with the following conditions:
· moderate to severe plaque psoriasis who are candidates for systemic or phototherapy or
· active psoriatic arthritis (PsA).
What is the mechanism of action of Taltz® ? Taltz® belongs to a class of drugs known as monoclonal antibodies. Taltz® produces its anti-inflammatory effects by selectively binding to a proinflammatory protein (interleukin-17A cytokine, or IL-17A) that has been secreted from a cell. IL-17A is a naturally occurring cytokine that is involved in normal immune and inflammatory responses. By binding to IL-17A, Taltz® disrupts the signaling pathway to the IL-17A receptors on other cells, thus inhibiting the release of IL-17A’s inflammatory and immune response effects.
How is Taltz given (administered)? Taltz® is administered by self-injection under the skin. The specific schedule and dose depend on which condition is being treated. Allergic-type reactions, although rare, may occur following treatment with Taltz® .
How are patients treated with Taltz® monitored? Patients may have scheduled meetings with their healthcare provider while they are being treated with Taltz. Your doctor should watch you closely for signs and symptoms of tuberculosis (TB) before and during treatment with Taltz.
What are the most common side effects of treatment with Taltz?
- Cold symptoms
- Upper respiratory infections
This is not a complete list of side effects. Some patients may experience other side effects that are not listed here. Patients may wish to discuss with their physician the other less common side effects of this drug, some of which may be serious.
Some side effects may require medical attention. Other side effects do not require medical attention and may go away during treatment. Patients should check with their physician about any side effects that continue or are bothersome.
Are there any special precautions patients should be aware of before starting treatment?
Serious risk of infections**:** Your doctor should check you for TB before starting treatment. Taltz® may lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections and may increase your risk of infections. You should inform your physician if you have TB or if you’ve been in close contact with someone who has TB; if you are being treated for an infection, have an infection that doesn’t go away, or think you have an infection or symptoms of infection such as:
· Fevers, sweats, or chills
· Muscle aches
· Shortness of breath
· Blood in your phlegm
· Weight loss
· Warm, red, or painful skin sores on your body
· Diarrhea or stomach pain
· Burning when you urinate or urinate more often than normal
Serious allergic reactions**:** Do not use Taltz® if you have had a severe allergic reaction to ixekizumab or any of the other ingredients in Taltz® . (See medication guide for a complete list of ingredients.) Get emergency help right away if you:
· Feeling faint
· Swelling of your face, lips, eyelids, tongue, or throat
· Trouble breathing or throat tightness
· Chest tightness
· Skin rash
Inflammatory bowel disease: New cases of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or “flare-ups” can happen with Taltz® and can sometimes be serious. Tell your doctor if you have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, or if you have worsening symptoms during treatment with Taltz® , or develop new symptoms of stomach pain or diarrhea.
Also, tell your doctor if:
· You are allergic to latex. The needle caps contain latex.
· You have recently received or are about to receive a vaccine. People taking Taltz® should NOT receive live vaccines.
· You have any other medical conditions.
· You are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Taltz® can harm your unborn baby.
· You are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if Taltz® passes into your breast milk.
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
When should patients notify their physician? Contact your healthcare professional immediately in case you have any of the signs of infection listed above. If you inject more Taltz® than prescribed, call your healthcare provider or go to the nearest emergency room right away.
What is a package insert?
A package insert is required by the FDA and contains a summary of the essential scientific information needed for the safe and effective use of the drug for healthcare providers and consumers. A package insert typically includes information regarding specific indications, administration schedules, dosing, side effects, contraindications, results from some clinical trials, chemical structure, pharmacokinetics and metabolism of the specific drug. By carefully reviewing the package insert, you will get the most complete and current information about how to safely use this drug. If you do not have the package insert for the drug you are using, your pharmacist or physician may be able to provide you with a copy.
Important Limitations of Use
The information provided above on the drug you have selected is provided for your information only and is not a substitute for consultation with an appropriate medical doctor. We are providing this information solely as a courtesy and, as such, it is in no way a recommendation as to the safety, efficacy or appropriateness of any particular drug, regimen, dosing schedule for any particular cancer, condition or patient nor is it in any way to be considered medical advice. Patients should discuss the appropriateness of a particular drug or chemotherapy regimen with their physician.
As with any printed reference, the use of particular drugs, regimens and drug dosages may become out-of-date over time, since new information may have been published and become generally accepted after the latest update to this printed information. Please keep in mind that health care professionals are fully responsible for practicing within current standards, avoiding use of outdated regimens, employing good clinical judgment kin selecting drugs and/or regimens, in calculating doses for individual patients, and verifying all dosage calculations.
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