General Information for Our Patients on Ixekizumab
Ixekizumab (Taltz) was formally approved by the FDA in March 2016 for the treatment of adult patients with moderate plaque psoriasis to severe plaque psoriasis who are candidates for systemic therapy or phototherapy.
Ixekizumab is an injection based medication which blocks a pathway inside inflammatory cells known as the IL17A pathway. Ixekizumab selectively binds with IL-17 A and inhibits its interaction with the IL17 receptor. Studies showed that about 80 % of people who take the drug will have their psoriasis improved by about 75 % after 3 months use use and 35 % will have their psoriasis completely cleared up. After one year about 50 % of patients using ixekizumab will have clear skin.
The medication can help nail and scalp psoriasis too. After 60 weeks of treatment, it was found that about 50 % of patients with nail psorasis had clear nails. After three months of treatment about 75 % of patients with scalp psoriasis reported that their scalp psoriasis had cleared.
The dose is 160 mg for the first subcutaneous (SC) injection and then 80 mg SC for the next 12 weeks (6 doses). After the 12th week, the dose is 80 mg every 4 weeks. The medication is injected into the upper arms, thigh, buttocks or abdomen in a rotating manner. Women who are pregnant or who plan to become pregnant, patients with inflammatory bowel disease can not use this medication.
Before starting ixekizumab, a variety of tests will be needed including a TB skin test, infection screens and a panel of other baseline tests.
About 85 % of patients experience some type of side effect of ixekizumab. Generally speaking, they are mild and do not lead to stopping the treatment. Most side effects often happen in the first few months. The most common side effects are cold and upper respiratory tract infections and injection site reactions. Serious adverse events in clinical trials occurred in 11. 8 % of patients.
Our handout that we give our patients is available at the following link
Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887