Ixekizumab (Taltz) for Psoriatic Arthritis

Medically Reviewed by Jabeen Begum, MD on November 18, 2021

Psoriatic arthritis is an inflammatory condition in which your body’s immune system attacks your joints and causes painful inflammation. Ixekizumab (brand name Taltz) is a prescription medication that many doctors prescribe to patients as a psoriatic arthritis treatment. The medication blocks a specific protein in your body called protein IL-17A that causes inflammation.

There are many ways to improve your psoriatic arthritis symptoms naturally through diet, exercise, and therapy, but for severe conditions, your doctor may recommend a medication like Taltz to improve your symptoms. Addressing inflammation and swelling is crucial with psoriatic arthritis because, if left untreated, permanent damage to your joints may occur.

Ixekizumab is an injection you can perform at home. You will use two 80-milligram syringes for your first dose. You follow up with a single 80-milligram injection every four weeks for maintenance. Some people feel a difference as quickly as a few weeks after the first injection. For other people, it takes several months before you can tell a difference in your symptoms.

You can make an injection in your thigh or abdomen, and you should rotate your injection site each time. Because Ixekizumab is a biologic medication, you should not take it with another biologic. If you take medication for multiple health conditions, be sure to talk to your doctor about each one. Methotrexate is a non-biologic medication commonly prescribed alongside Ixekizumab.

Ixekizumab impacts your immune system, meaning that you may have less ability to fight off infections when you get sick. You have to weigh the risks and benefits of taking Ixekizumab with your doctor to decide if it’s the right choice for you. If you think you have developed an infection after starting Ixekizumab, contact your doctor right away. Signs of an infection include coughing and having a high fever. Diarrhea and allergic reactions also need to be addressed right away.

Common Ixekizumab side effects include:

  • Reactions at your injection site
  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Fewer white blood cells

Inflammatory bowel disease is possible but less common. You should not take Ixekizumab if you are pregnant or breastfeeding because the medication hasn’t been tested for these conditions. Your doctor may suggest testing you for tuberculosis before you begin Ixekizumab injections for psoriatic arthritis.

It’s possible to manage psoriatic arthritis so that this condition doesn't have a major impact on your overall quality of life.