Taltz is a brand-name prescription medication. It’s approved to treat the following conditions:

For plaque psoriasis, Taltz can be prescribed for adults and children ages 6 years and older. But for all of its other approved uses, Taltz can only be prescribed for adults.

Taltz contains the active drug ixekizumab. It’s a type of biologic drug (a drug made from living cells) called a humanized monoclonal antibody.

Taltz comes in two forms: a prefilled syringe and a prefilled autoinjector pen. The drug is given by injection under your skin (subcutaneous injection). Your healthcare provider will give you the injection at first. Then they can teach you how to give the injection to yourself at home.

Effectiveness

For information about Taltz’s effectiveness in treating the conditions listed above, see the “Taltz uses” section below.

Taltz is available only as a brand-name medication. It’s not currently available in a generic form. (A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication.)

Taltz contains one active drug ingredient: ixekizumab.

The Taltz dosage that your doctor prescribes depends on the condition being treated.

The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage and follow the dosing schedule your doctor prescribes for you.

Drug forms and strengths

Taltz is available in one strength: 80 milligrams per milliliter (mg/mL).

The drug comes in two forms: a single-use prefilled syringe and a single-use prefilled autoinjector pen. You may find that one form is easier for you to use than another is. Talk with your doctor about which form is best for you.

The drug is given by injection under your skin (subcutaneous injection). Your healthcare provider will give you the injection at first. Then they can teach you how to give the injection to yourself at home.

Dosage for psoriatic arthritis

For psoriatic arthritis, your first Taltz dose will be given as two 80-mg injections (for a total of 160 mg) on the same day. After that, your maintenance dosage will be one 80-mg injection once every 4 weeks for as long as your doctor recommends.

Note: To learn more about psoriatic arthritis, see the “Taltz uses” section below.

Dosage for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis

For plaque psoriasis, your first Taltz dose will be two 80-mg injections (for a total of 160 mg) on the same day. After that, you’ll have one 80-mg injection once every 2 weeks for 12 weeks. Then your maintenance dosage will be one injection once every 4 weeks for as long as your doctor recommends.

Note: To learn more about plaque psoriasis, see the “Taltz uses” section below.

Dosage for psoriatic arthritis and moderate to severe plaque psoriasis

If you have both psoriatic arthritis and plaque psoriasis, you’ll use the Taltz dosage and dosing schedule for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. See the section just above for information on this.

Note: To learn more about psoriatic arthritis and plaque psoriasis, see the “Taltz uses” section below.

Dosage for non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis

For non-radiographical axial spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA), you’ll receive an 80-mg injection of Taltz once every 4 weeks.

Note: To learn more about nr-axSpA, see the “Taltz uses” section below.

Dosage for active ankylosing spondylitis

For ankylosing spondylitis (AS), your first Taltz dose will be two 80-mg injections (for a total of 160 mg) on the same day. After that, your maintenance dosage will be one 80-mg injection once every 4 weeks.

Note: To learn more about AS, see the “Taltz uses” section below.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss an injection, you should have it as soon as possible. Then just take your next injection when it would normally be due. But if you miss an injection and it’s not long until your next one is due, ask your doctor for advice on what to do.

To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try setting a reminder on your phone. A medication timer may be useful, too.

Will I need to use this drug long term?

Taltz is meant to be used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor decide that Taltz works well for you, it’s likely that you’ll keep using it on a long-term basis.

Taltz can cause mild or serious side effects. The following lists contain some of the key side effects that may occur while taking Taltz. This list doesn’t include all possible side effects.

For more information on the possible side effects of Taltz, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you tips on how to deal with any side effects that may be bothersome.

Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks side effects of drugs it has approved. If you would like to report to the FDA a side effect you’ve had with Taltz, you can do so through MedWatch.

More common side effects

The more common side effects of Taltz can include:

Most of these side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* This is a partial list of mild side effects from Taltz. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or visit Taltz’s medication guide.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from Taltz aren’t common, but they can occur. Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Serious side effects, which are explained in more detail below in “Side effect details,” include:

Side effects in children

A clinical study looked at children ages 6 to 18 years old who had plaque psoriasis. In this study, the types of side effects seen in the children and how often they occurred were about the same as those seen in adults. As an exception to this, the following side effects occurred more often in children than in adults:

  • conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • the flu
  • hives (an itchy skin rash)

In the same study, Crohn’s disease occurred 0.9% more often in children taking Taltz than it occurred in children taking a placebo. (A placebo is a treatment with no active drug.)

Side effect details

You may wonder how often certain side effects occur with this drug, or whether certain side effects pertain to it. Here’s some detail on some of the side effects this drug may or may not cause.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, some people can have an allergic reaction after taking Taltz. Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

  • skin rash
  • itchiness
  • flushing (warmth and redness in your skin)

A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include:

  • angioedema (swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, or cheeks)
  • swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat
  • trouble breathing
  • chest tightness
  • feeling faint

In clinical studies, allergic reactions occurred in 0.1% or less of people who received Taltz. These allergic reactions included angioedema and urticaria (an itchy skin rash also known as hives).

Call your doctor right away if you have a severe allergic reaction to Taltz. But call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Injection site reaction

You may have a skin reaction in the area where you inject doses of Taltz. And these reactions may cause symptoms such as redness or pain.

In clinical studies, 17% of people with plaque psoriasis who received Taltz had a reaction, such as redness or pain, at the injection site. Most of these reactions were mild or moderate and didn’t cause people to stop treatment.

Each time you inject Taltz, you should choose a different spot on your body than the last injection. If you have a skin reaction that’s severe or doesn’t go away in a few days, see your doctor.

Increased risk of infections

Taltz can weaken your immune system. When your immune system isn’t strong enough to fight off germs, you may be more likely to get an infection.

In clinical studies, 27% of people with plaque psoriasis who received Taltz for 12 weeks got an infection. Here are some of the studies’ findings:

  • Most of these infections were mild. Only 0.4% of infections were considered serious, such as pneumonia.
  • The most common infections were respiratory infections such as coughs, colds, or throat infections.
  • Other infections included conjunctivitis (pink eye) and fungal infections, such as oral thrush or athlete’s foot.
  • In these studies, 23% of people who received a placebo (treatment with no active drug) also got an infection.
  • In people who received Taltz treatment for 60 weeks, 57% got an infection compared to 32% who received a placebo.

Monitoring and checking for infections

If you have symptoms of an infection, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can recommend treatment. Symptoms of minor infections may include:

  • fever
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • red and sore eyes
  • red and sore areas of skin
  • white patches in your mouth
  • burning or pain when urinating

It’s very important to see your doctor if the infection doesn’t clear up. Otherwise, it could become more serious.

Before you start treatment with Taltz, your doctor will check for any infections, such as tuberculosis (TB), a lung disease. If you have any symptoms of TB during your treatment, it’s important to call your doctor right away. These symptoms include:

  • fever
  • muscle aches
  • losing weight without trying
  • a bad cough that lasts for 3 weeks or longer
  • coughing up blood or mucus
  • pain in the chest
  • night sweats

Avoiding infections during Taltz treatment

To help avoid getting an infection while taking Taltz, wash your hands often. Also, avoid close contact with people who have an infection (especially coughs, colds, or the flu).

And ask your doctor whether there are any vaccines that you should get before you start taking Taltz. (See “Taltz and live vaccines” in the “Taltz interactions” section below to learn more.)

Inflammatory bowel disease

If you take Taltz, there’s a small risk that you’ll develop inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). IBD is a group of diseases that cause inflammation (swelling) in your digestive tract. These diseases include Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

If you already have IBD, Taltz could make it worse, but this is rare. In clinical studies, Crohn’s disease occurred in 0.1% of people who received Taltz. And 0.2% of people who received Taltz had new or worsening ulcerative colitis.

You should see your doctor if you have new or worsening symptoms of IBD. These can include:

  • pain in your abdomen (belly)
  • diarrhea, with or without blood
  • weight loss

Weight gain or weight loss (not a side effect)

Weight gain and weight loss haven’t been reported in clinical studies of Taltz. However, weight loss can be a symptom of tuberculosis (TB) or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). And these conditions are both possible side effects of Taltz. So if you lose weight while taking Taltz, it’s very important to see your doctor.

If you have any concerns about weight gain or weight loss, talk with your doctor.

Hair loss (not a side effect)

Hair loss wasn’t seen in clinical studies of Taltz. However, hair loss can be a result of severe scalp psoriasis, a form of plaque psoriasis that can be treated with Taltz. By scratching your scalp or picking off the scales, you may pull out your hair.

If you’re concerned about hair loss, talk with your doctor.

Depression (not a side effect)

Depression wasn’t reported as a side effect in clinical studies of Taltz. However, depression is common in people with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, which Taltz is used to treat.

One study examined how Taltz affected symptoms of depression in people with psoriasis. Researchers found that about 40% of people who received Taltz for 12 weeks recovered from their depression symptoms.

Skin diseases such as psoriasis can have an important psychological effect. If you feel down, depressed, or anxious, be sure to talk to your doctor about it. Sometimes simply discussing your concerns can be helpful. But if your doctor thinks you are experiencing depression, you might need treatment for it. This can come in the form of psychological therapy or medication.

Acne (not a side effect)

Acne wasn’t reported as a side effect in clinical studies of Taltz. However, after Taltz was approved, a few people reported[KD1] [AK2] having acne or skin bumps. But these cases were rare, and it’s not clear whether Taltz caused the acne.

Psoriasis medications are sometimes used to treat a severe kind of acne, called acne inversa (or hidradenitis suppurativa). That’s because acne inversa involves painful, swollen skin, just like psoriasis.

But Taltz hasn’t been studied for people with any kind of acne. Currently, the only medication approved to treat acne inversa is Humira (adalimumab).

If you’re concerned about acne, talk with your doctor. They can suggest ways to help treat it.

As with all medications, the cost of Taltz can vary. To find current prices for Taltz in your area, check out WellRx.com. The cost you find on WellRx.com is what you may pay without insurance. The actual price you’ll pay depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

Financial and insurance assistance

If you need financial support to pay for Taltz, or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help is available.

Eli Lilly and Company, the manufacturer of Taltz, offers a savings card and a support program called Taltz Together. For more information and to find out if you’re eligible for assistance, call 844-825-8966 or visit the program website.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as Taltz to treat certain conditions. Taltz may also be used off-label for other conditions. Off-label use is when a drug that’s approved to treat one condition is used to treat a different condition.

Taltz for psoriatic arthritis

Taltz is FDA-approved to treat active psoriatic arthritis in adults.

Psoriatic arthritis is a form of arthritis in which one or more joints become swollen, painful, and stiff. The condition develops in about 30% of people who have psoriasis. It’s also possible to develop psoriatic arthritis before you have psoriasis on your skin.

Psoriatic arthritis most often affects the joints in your:

  • fingers
  • toes
  • knees
  • ankles
  • wrists
  • lower back

Taltz reduces inflammation (swelling) and pain in your joints. The drug may also make it easier for you to move about and do daily tasks, such as dressing, washing, eating, and walking.

Effectiveness for psoriatic arthritis

Clinical studies looked at how Taltz affected symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. Researchers noted how much pain people reported and how well they completed daily tasks. Researchers also judged how many of the people’s joints were tender or swollen.

After 24 weeks, Taltz improved these symptoms by:

  • at least 20% in 53% to 58% of people
  • at least 50% in 35% to 40% of people
  • at least 70% in 22% to 23% of people

Taltz for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis

Taltz is FDA-approved to treat moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in adults and children ages 6 years and older. It’s suitable for people whose psoriasis may benefit from systemic treatment (therapy that affects your whole body) or phototherapy (light treatment).

Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of psoriasis. It can range from mild to severe. Your doctor can tell you how severe your psoriasis is and whether Taltz is right for you. Your psoriasis may be suitable for treatment with Taltz if:

  • you have plaques (thick, red, scaly patches) on more than 3% of your body
  • you have plaques on your hands, feet, or genitals
  • your psoriasis greatly affects your quality of life
  • treatments that are topical (applied to your skin) haven’t brought your psoriasis under control

Taltz helps reduce the number of psoriasis plaques and how severe they are.

Effectiveness for plaque psoriasis in adults

Clinical studies looked at how Taltz affected symptoms of plaque psoriasis in adults ages 18 years and older. After 12 weeks, Taltz relieved symptoms by:

  • at least 75% in 87% to 90% of people
  • at least 90% in 68% to 71% of people
  • 100% in 35% to 40% of people

Researchers also looked at how well Taltz worked in people whose psoriasis symptoms had cleared up, or were only minor, after 12 weeks of treatment. After 60 weeks of taking Taltz, 75% of these people still had minimal or no psoriasis symptoms.

And in a clinical study of genital psoriasis, 73% of people who received Taltz had just minor symptoms or had their symptoms clear up after 12 weeks.

Effectiveness for plaque psoriasis in children

A clinical study looked at how Taltz affected symptoms of plaque psoriasis in children ages 6 to 18 years old. After 12 weeks, Taltz relieved symptoms by:

  • at least 75% in 89% of children
  • at least 90% in 78% of children
  • 100% in 50% of children

Taltz for spondyloarthritis

Taltz is FDA-approved to treat two forms of spondyloarthritis (SA) in adults. Specifically, Taltz is approved to treat the following two forms of SA, which are described in more detail below:

  • non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA)
  • active ankylosing spondylitis (AS) or radiographic axial spondyloarthritis (r-axSpA)

SA is an inflammatory disease and a form of arthritis that causes swelling in your spine. Often, nearby joints are also affected, especially the two joints that connect your lower spine to your pelvis (sacropelvic joints). When damage to the joints doesn’t show up on X-rays (radiographs), the form of SA is called nr-axSpA.

When SA progresses, the chronic (long-lasting) inflammation can cause vertebrae in your spine to fuse together. As a result, your spine becomes less flexible. Back pain and tiredness are common symptoms of SA that’s progressed. With this type of SA, joint damage can be seen on X-rays. This form of SA is called active AS, or r-axSpA.

Effectiveness for non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis

A clinical study looked at adults ages 18 years and older with nr-axSpA. This study looked at treatment with Taltz compared with that of a placebo (treatment with no active drug).

After 52 weeks of treatment:

  • 30% of people using Taltz had their symptoms reduced by 40% or more. These symptoms included stiffness in their joints and spine.
  • In comparison, 13% of people using the placebo had the same result.

Effectiveness for active ankylosing spondylitis

Two clinical studies looked at adults ages 18 years or older with active AS. These studies looked at treatment with Taltz compared with that of a placebo.

After 16 weeks of treatment:

  • 25% to 48% of people using Taltz had their symptoms reduced by 40% or more. These symptoms included stiffness in their joints and spine.
  • In comparison, 13% to 18% of people using the placebo had the same result.

In addition, people who took Taltz had less pain and physically felt better compared with people who took the placebo.

Taltz and children

Taltz is FDA-approved to treat plaque psoriasis in children ages 6 years and older. For details about this use, see the section above called “Taltz for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.”

Taltz for other conditions

In addition to the uses listed above, Taltz may be used off-label for other purposed. Off-label drug use is when a drug that’s approved for one use is used for a different one that’s not approved. And you may wonder if Taltz is used for certain other conditions.

Taltz for rheumatoid arthritis (off-label use)

Taltz isn’t approved to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, your doctor may prescribe the drug off-label if other approved treatments haven’t worked for you.

RA is a disease in which your immune system attacks your joints, making them swollen, stiff, and painful. Several studies have looked at whether Taltz can help treat RA. Taltz works on a part of the immune system that’s known to cause some of this joint inflammation (swelling).

A review of studies concluded that Taltz was effective for treating RA.

If you’d like to know more about using Taltz to treat RA, talk with your doctor.

Taltz for osteoarthritis (not an appropriate use)

Taltz isn’t approved or used off-label for treating osteoarthritis. This form of arthritis is caused by wear and tear on your joints. It’s not caused by swelling. So osteoarthritis wouldn’t be helped by drugs, such as Taltz, that affect your immune system.

If you have questions about treatment options for osteoarthritis, talk with your doctor.

Alcohol doesn’t directly affect how Taltz works, so there are no specific warnings about avoiding alcohol during Taltz treatment.

However, drinking alcohol may worsen psoriasis, which Taltz is used to treat. In addition, alcohol could make psoriasis treatment less effective and may also make your immune system less able to fight infections.

Current guidelines for treating and managing psoriasis recommend limiting how much alcohol you drink.

If you drink alcohol, ask your doctor how much is safe for you to consume while taking Taltz.

Other drugs are available that can treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. If you’re interested in finding an alternative to Taltz, talk with your doctor. They can tell you about other medications that may work well for you.

Note: Some of the drugs listed here are used off-label to treat these specific conditions.

Alternatives for psoriatic arthritis

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat psoriatic arthritis include:

Note: To learn more about psoriatic arthritis, see the “Taltz uses” section above.

Alternatives for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat moderate to severe plaque psoriasis include:

  • apremilast (Otezla)
  • infliximab (Remicade)
  • adalimumab (Humira)
  • etanercept (Enbrel)
  • certolizumab (Cimzia)
  • ustekinumab (Stelara)
  • secukinumab (Cosentyx)
  • brodalumab (Siliq)
  • guselkumab (Tremfya)
  • golimumab (Simponi)
  • methotrexate (Otrexup, Rasuvo, Trexall)
  • sulfasalazine (Azulfidine)

Note: To learn more about plaque psoriasis, see the “Taltz uses” section above.

Alternatives for ankylosing spondylitis

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat ankylosing spondylitis (AS) include:

  • infliximab (Remicade)
  • adalimumab (Humira)
  • etanercept (Enbrel)
  • secukinumab (Cosentyx)
  • certolizumab (Cimzia)
  • golimumab (Simponi)
  • ustekinumab (Stelara)
  • brodalumab (Siliq)
  • methotrexate (Otrexup, Rasuvo, Trexall)
  • sulfasalazine (Azulfidine)

Note: To learn more about AS, see the “Taltz uses” section above.

Alternatives for non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA) include:

  • certolizumab (Cimzia)
  • adalimumab (Humira)
  • secukinumab (Cosentyx)
  • methotrexate (Otrexup, Rasuvo, Trexall)
  • sulfasalazine (Azulfidine)

Note: To learn more about nr-axSpA, see the “Taltz uses” section above.

You may wonder how Taltz compares to other medications that are prescribed for similar uses. Here we look at how Taltz and Cosentyx are alike and different.

About

Taltz and Cosentyx are both biologic drugs (drugs made from parts of living organisms). They work by targeting a specific part of your immune system.

Taltz contains the drug ixekizumab, while Cosentyx contains the drug secukinumab. These two drugs are both called monoclonal antibodies. They block the activity of a protein in your immune system called interleukin-17. Interleukin-17 causes your immune system to attack cells in your skin and joints. This causes the inflammation that’s seen with diseases such as plaque psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and spondyloarthritis.

Uses

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved both Taltz and Cosentyx to treat moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. These drugs are suitable for people whose psoriasis could benefit from systemic treatment (therapy that affects your whole body) or phototherapy (light treatment).

For plaque psoriasis, Taltz is approved for use in adults and children ages 6 years and older. However, Cosentyx is only approved for use in adults with this condition.

Both Taltz and Cosentyx are also FDA-approved to treat active psoriatic arthritis in adults. (“Active” means that you currently have symptoms.)

In addition, both Taltz and Cosentyx are approved for treating non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis and active ankylosing spondylitis in adults.

Note: For more information about the conditions mentioned here, see the “Taltz uses” section above.

Drug forms and administration

Both Taltz and Cosentyx are given by injection under your skin (subcutaneous injection). Your healthcare provider will give you the injection at first. Then they can teach you how to give yourself the injection at home.

Taltz comes in two forms: a single-use prefilled syringe and a single-use prefilled autoinjector pen.

Cosentyx comes in three forms:

  • a single-use Sensoready pen
  • a single-use prefilled syringe
  • a single-use vial that’s given as an injection by your healthcare provider

Side effects and risks

Taltz and Cosentyx can cause some similar side effects and some different. Below are examples of these side effects.

More common side effects

These lists contain examples of more common side effects that can occur with Taltz, with Cosentyx, or with both drugs (when taken individually).

Serious side effects

This list contains examples of serious side effects that can occur with both Taltz and Cosentyx (when taken individually).

Effectiveness

Taltz and Cosentyx have different FDA-approved uses, but they’re both used to treat the following conditions:

  • moderate to severe plaque psoriasis
  • psoriatic arthritis that’s active (currently causing symptoms)
  • non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis
  • active ankylosing spondylitis

These drugs haven’t been directly compared in clinical studies. However, one review of studies of plaque psoriasis found that Taltz was more effective than Cosentyx at reducing symptoms of psoriasis.

Treatment guidelines from 2018 and 2019 recommend both drugs as options for people who need a biological treatment for psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. Biologics are a type of medication that targets parts of your immune system that are involved in psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

Your doctor may recommend a biologic if other treatments haven’t worked well enough. For example, a biologic may be right for you if:

  • you have plaque psoriasis and light therapy or treatments applied to your skin haven’t worked
  • you have psoriatic arthritis and anti-inflammatory treatments (which help reduce swelling) such as pain relievers or steroids haven’t worked

Cosentyx may be better than Taltz for plaque psoriasis that affects the nails. Taltz may be a better option for erythrodermic psoriasis, a very rare type of psoriasis.

Costs

Taltz and Cosentyx are both brand-name drugs. There are currently no generic forms of either drug. Brand-name medications usually cost more than generics.

According to estimates on WellRx.com, Taltz and Cosentyx generally cost about the same. The actual price you’ll pay for either drug depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

In addition to Cosentyx (above), Humira is another drug that has some uses similar to those of Taltz. Here we look at how Taltz and Humira are alike and different.

About

Taltz and Humira are both biologic drugs (drugs made from parts of living organisms). They each work by targeting different, but specific, parts of your immune system.

Taltz contains ixekizumab, which is a type of drug called a monoclonal antibody. It blocks the activity of a protein in the immune system called interleukin-17. Interleukin-17 causes the immune system to attack cells in the skin and joints. This results in the inflammation that’s seen with diseases such as plaque psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and spondyloarthritis.

Humira contains adalimumab, which is a type of drug called a tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) blocker. It blocks the activity of a protein called TNF-α. This protein is involved in causing inflammation in various conditions, including psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

Uses

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved both Taltz and Humira to treat moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. Your doctor may prescribe one of these drugs if your psoriasis could benefit from systemic treatment (therapy that affects your whole body) or phototherapy (light treatment).

For plaque psoriasis, Taltz is approved for use in adults and children ages 6 years and older. However, Humira is only approved for use in adults with this condition.

Both Taltz and Humira are also FDA-approved to treat active psoriatic arthritis in adults. (“Active” means that you currently have symptoms.)

In addition, both Taltz and Humira are approved for treating active ankylosing spondylitis in adults. But only Taltz is approved for treating non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis in adults.

Humira also has FDA approval for treating the following conditions:

Note: To learn more about the condition Taltz is approved to treat, see the “Taltz uses” section above.

Drug forms and administration

Both Taltz and Humira are given by injection under your skin (subcutaneous injection). Your healthcare provider will give you the injection at first. Then they can teach you how to give yourself the injection at home.

Taltz comes in two forms: a single-use prefilled syringe and a single-use prefilled autoinjector pen.

Humira comes in three forms:

  • a single-use prefilled pen
  • a single-use prefilled syringe
  • a single-use vial that’s given as an injection by your healthcare provider

Side effects and risks

Taltz and Humira can cause some similar side effects and some different. Below are examples of these side effects.

More common side effects

These lists contain examples of more common side effects that can occur with Taltz, with Humira, or with both drugs (when taken individually).

Serious side effects

These lists contain examples of serious side effects that can occur with Taltz, with Humira, or with both drugs (when taken individually).

Effectiveness

Taltz and Humira have different FDA-approved uses, but they’re both used to treat the following conditions:

  • moderate to severe plaque psoriasis
  • active psoriatic arthritis
  • active ankylosing spondylitis

These drugs haven’t been directly compared in people with plaque psoriasis, but studies have found both Taltz and Humira to be effective for treating this condition.

One clinical study looked at both Taltz and Humira in people with active psoriatic arthritis. After 24 weeks, psoriatic arthritis symptoms eased by at least 20% in 58% to 62% of people who took Taltz. This was compared to 57% of people who took Humira and 30% who took a placebo (no treatment).

Treatment guidelines from 2018 and 2019 recommend both drugs as options for people who need a biologic treatment for psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. Biologics are a type of medication that targets parts of your immune system that are involved in psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

Your doctor may recommend a biologic if other treatments haven’t worked well enough. For example, a biologic may be right for you if:

  • you have plaque psoriasis and light therapy or treatments applied to your skin haven’t worked
  • you have psoriatic arthritis and anti-inflammatory treatments (which help reduce swelling) such as pain relievers or steroids haven’t worked

For most people who are starting treatment for active psoriatic arthritis, the 2018 guidelines recommend using TNF-alpha blockers (such as Humira) over interleukin-17 blockers (such as Taltz). The 2019 guidelines state that Humira may also be better than Taltz for plaque psoriasis that affects the scalp and for erythrodermic psoriasis (a very rare type of psoriasis).

A clinical study compared how effective Taltz and Humira are in treating psoriatic arthritis and plaque psoriasis. The study reported that over 24 weeks of treatment, 36% of people who took Taltz had their symptoms improve by at least 50%. In comparison, 28% of people who took Humira had their symptoms improve by at least 50%.

Costs

Taltz and Humira are both brand-name drugs. There are currently no generic forms of either drug. Brand-name medications usually cost more than generics.

According to estimates on WellRx.com, Taltz and Humira generally cost about the same. The actual price you’ll pay for either drug depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

Taltz can interact with some other medications. Different interactions can cause different effects. For instance, some interactions can interfere with how well a drug works. Other interactions can increase side effects or make them more severe.

Taltz and other medications

Below is a list of medications that can interact with Taltz. This list doesn’t contain all drugs that may interact with Taltz.

Before taking Taltz, talk with your doctor and pharmacist. Tell them about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.

If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Taltz and warfarin

Warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven) is a type of blood thinner, a drug that helps prevent blood clots. Taking Taltz with warfarin might make your warfarin less effective.

If you’re taking warfarin, your doctor might want to monitor how long it takes for your blood to clot after you start Taltz, during your treatment, and if you stop Taltz. They may adjust your dosage of warfarin if needed.

Taltz and cyclosporine

Cyclosporine is an immunosuppressant drug. You take it to reduce the activity of your immune system. Taking Taltz with cyclosporine might make your cyclosporine less effective.

If you’re taking cyclosporine, your doctor might want to check the level of the drug in your blood after you start Taltz, during your treatment and if you stop Taltz. They may adjust your dosage of cyclosporine if needed.

Cyclosporine is also available as the following brand-name drugs:

Taltz and live vaccines

Getting a live vaccine while you’re taking Taltz can cause serious infections.

Live vaccines contain weakened forms of viruses or bacteria, but they don’t cause infections in people with healthy immune systems. However, live vaccines could cause infections in people whose immune systems are affected by treatment with Taltz.

While you’re taking Taltz, you shouldn’t get live vaccines such as:

It’s fine to get inactive (not live) vaccines, such as the flu shot, during your Taltz treatment. However, inactive vaccines may not work as well as they usually do. (Vaccines work by causing your immune system to produce antibodies that help fight infections. Taltz might make your immune system less able to produce antibodies.)

If your doctor wants you to take Taltz, ask if you’re up to date on all recommended vaccines.

Taltz and herbs and supplements

There aren’t any herbs or supplements that have been specifically reported to interact with Taltz. But be sure to check with your pharmacist before using any.

The drug is given by injection under your skin (subcutaneous injection). Your healthcare provider will give you the injection at first. Then they can teach you how to give yourself the injection at home. You can take your Taltz injection at any time of day on the day that it’s due.

Taltz comes as a single-dose prefilled syringe and as a single-use prefilled autoinjector pen. Ask your doctor which is best for you. Both forms contain one single dose. You inject the full dose and then dispose of the syringe or autoinjector pen.

When to take

When you’ll need to take doses of Taltz depends on the condition being treated. Typically, you’ll receive your first dose of Taltz at your doctor’s office. Then you’ll be able to give following injections to yourself.

Below, we describe typical dosing schedules for Taltz for its approved uses.

  • If you have psoriasis: For your first dose of Taltz, you’ll receive two injections on the same day. After the first dose of Taltz, you’ll have one injection every 2 weeks for 12 weeks. This will be followed by one injection every 4 weeks for as long as your doctor recommends.
  • If you have psoriatic arthritis: For your first dose of Taltz, you’ll receive two injections on the same day. After the first dose of Taltz, you’ll have one injection every 4 weeks for as long as your doctor recommends.
  • If you have psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis: You’ll receive Taltz doses based on the recommended dosing schedule for psoriasis, which is described above.
  • If you have non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA): After your first dose of Taltz, you’ll have one injection every 4 weeks.
  • If you have active ankylosing spondylitis (AS): For your first dose of Taltz, you’ll receive two injections on the same day. After the first dose of Taltz, you’ll have one injection every 4 weeks.

For Taltz to work well, it’s important to take it as your doctor prescribes. To make sure you remember to take the drug, it’s a good idea to write your injection schedule on a calendar. You can also use a medication reminder tool so you don’t forget.

Note: For more information about the conditions listed here, see the “Taltz uses” section above.

How to inject

Your healthcare provider will instruct you on how to use the syringe or autoinjector pen. For more information, videos, and images of injection instructions, see the manufacturer’s website.

Keep in mind that suitable sites to inject Taltz are the front of your thighs or your abdomen (belly). You can also use the back of your upper arms, but you may need someone else to give you the injection.

Psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and spondyloarthritis are autoimmune conditions. They cause your immune system (your body’s defense against disease) to attack healthy cells by mistake.

For more information on these conditions, see the “Taltz uses” section above.

Various parts of the immune system are involved in each of these conditions. One specific process has to do with a protein called interleukin-17A. This protein tells your immune system to attack cells in your skin and joints.

Taltz contains ixekizumab, which is a type of drug called a humanized monoclonal antibody. It works by binding (attaching) to interleukin-17A. By doing this, Taltz blocks the action of the protein. It stops it from telling your immune system to attack cells in your skin and joints.

By preventing your immune system from attacking cells, Taltz helps:

  • reduce the formation of plaques on your skin in plaque psoriasis
  • reduce inflammation (swelling) of your joints in psoriatic arthritis, non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis, and active ankylosing spondylitis

How long does it take to work?

Taltz starts to work as soon as you start treatment. However, it’ll probably take a few weeks for you to notice any changes.

In clinical studies, most people with plaque psoriasis had clear or nearly clear skin 12 weeks after they started treatment or sooner. And about half the people with psoriatic arthritis who took Taltz had less severe symptoms and better physical function by 12 weeks after the start of treatment.

A clinical study of adults with non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis looked at treatment with Taltz and treatment with a placebo. (A placebo is a treatment with no active drug.) After 52 weeks of treatment, 30% of people using Taltz had their symptoms reduced by 40% more. In comparison, 13% of people using the placebo had the same result.

Two clinical studies of adults with active ankylosing spondylitis looked at treatment with Taltz compared with that of a placebo. After 16 weeks of treatment, 25% to 48% of people using Taltz had their symptoms reduced by 40% or more. In comparison, 13% to 18% of people using the placebo had the same result.

Taltz hasn’t been studied in pregnant women, so it’s not known whether the drug is safe to take during pregnancy.

Make sure to tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or are planning a pregnancy before you start treatment. If you think you could be pregnant while taking Taltz, talk with your doctor right away.

It’s not known if Taltz is safe to take during pregnancy. If you’re sexually active and you or your partner can become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your birth control needs while you’re using Taltz.

For more information about taking Taltz during pregnancy, see the “Taltz and pregnancy” section above.

It’s not known if Taltz passes into human breast milk or if it affects how your body makes breast milk. Taltz was found in breast milk in animal studies, but studies in animals don’t always reflect what will happen in humans.

If you’re breastfeeding and considering taking Taltz, talk with your doctor. They can discuss the potential risks and benefits of the drug with you.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Taltz.

Is Taltz a biologic?

Yes. Taltz is a biologic medication. This means that it’s a drug made from proteins and not from chemicals (like most drugs are). Biologic drugs are produced in a lab using animal cells.

Will I still need to use topical creams for psoriasis while using Taltz?

Maybe. But you should follow your doctor’s instructions regarding this.

If your skin clears up completely after taking Taltz, then you may not have to keep using topical treatments. But in some cases, you may still have some psoriasis plaques (thick, red, scaly patches on your skin). If this happens, your doctor may recommend that you keep using moisturizers or other topical treatments as needed. Always follow the advice that your doctor gives you.

Can using Taltz cause new or worsening inflammatory bowel disease?

Yes it can, although this is rare. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a group of diseases that cause inflammation (swelling) in your digestive tract. These diseases include Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

In clinical studies, Crohn’s disease occurred in 0.1% of people with plaque psoriasis who received Taltz. Ulcerative colitis occurred in 0.2% of people with plaque psoriasis who received Taltz.

If you have new or worsening symptoms of IBD, see your doctor. The symptoms may include pain in your abdomen (belly), diarrhea with or without blood, and weight loss.

What can I do to prevent infections while I take Taltz?

Taltz can weaken part of your immune system, so the drug can increase your risk of getting infections. Here are some tips to help keep your immune system strong and help you avoid infections:

  • Before you start treatment, talk with your doctor about getting up to date with any recommended vaccines.
  • Wash your hands regularly, especially if you’ve been in a public place.
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who have an infection, especially a cough, a cold, or the flu.
  • Avoid sharing towels or washcloths with anyone who has a fungal skin infection or cold sore.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Don’t smoke.

Does Taltz cure plaque psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis?

No, Taltz doesn’t cure these conditions. There’s currently no cure for plaque psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. But long-term treatment with Taltz may help control the symptoms of these conditions.

Clinical studies examined people with plaque psoriasis who took Taltz. Some people’s symptoms cleared up completely or became minor after 12 weeks. Half this group then took Taltz for another 48 weeks. The other half of the group took a placebo (no treatment) for 48 weeks.

Of the people who kept taking Taltz, 75% still had no or just minor symptoms by the end of the study. For most of the people who took a placebo, their symptoms got worse again. Only 7% of the placebo group had no or minor symptoms. The average time it took for symptoms to get worse in people who took a placebo was 164 days. But when they restarted taking Taltz, for 66% of these people, their psoriasis cleared up within 12 weeks.

Before taking Taltz, talk with your doctor about your health history. Taltz may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions. These include:

  • Any infection, but tuberculosis in particular. Taltz can make your immune system less able to fight germs, so infections such as tuberculosis (TB) can become serious.
    • If you currently have TB or have had TB in the past, you may need to take medication to treat it. Once the TB is treated, you may be able to start taking Taltz.
    • If you have symptoms of other infections, such as a fever, or if you get infections that keep coming back, tell your doctor. These infections may need to be treated before you can start treatment with Taltz.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease. In rare cases, Taltz can worsen symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). IBD is a group of diseases that include Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. If you have IBD, talk with your doctor. They may monitor your symptoms while you take Taltz. If your IBD gets worse, you may need to stop Taltz. There are other biologic medications that don’t worsen IBD that you may be able to try.

Note: For more information about the potential negative effects of Taltz, see the “Taltz side effects” section above.

Each prefilled syringe and autoinjector pen contains exactly the right amount of medication for one dose. So an overdose is only possible if you give yourself multiple injections or if you take Taltz too often.

Overdose symptoms

Symptoms of an overdose may include side effects that become more frequent or more severe, such as:

What to do in case of overdose

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor. You can also call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use their online tool. But if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

When you get Taltz from the pharmacy, the pharmacist will add an expiration date to the label on the bottle. This date is typically 1 year from the date they dispensed the medication.

The expiration date helps guarantee the effectiveness of the medication during this time. The current stance of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is to avoid using expired medications. If you have unused medication that has gone past the expiration date, ask your pharmacist whether you might still be able to use it.

Storage

How long a medication remains good can depend on many factors, including how and where you store the medication.

Taltz prefilled syringes and autoinjector pens should be stored in a refrigerator at 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C). Make sure they’re out of the reach of children. Don’t freeze Taltz. And don’t use the drug if it’s been frozen.

In some cases, you may need to take Taltz out of the refrigerator before using it. For example, if you’re going away for a few days and will need an injection during that time. Know that you can keep Taltz at room temperature up to 86°F (30°C) for up to 5 days.

Be sure to keep the syringe or autoinjector pen in its original carton to protect it from light. If you don’t use a syringe or pen within 5 days, you’ll need to safely dispose of it. You shouldn’t put Taltz back in the refrigerator once it’s been kept at room temperature.

Disposal

After you’ve used a Taltz prefilled syringe or autoinjector pen, put it into an FDA-approved sharps disposal container. This helps prevent others, including children and pets, from taking the drug by accident. It also helps keep the drug from harming the environment.

If you don’t have a sharps container, you can buy one online at your local pharmacy.

You can find useful tips on medication disposal here. You can also ask your pharmacist for tips on how to dispose of your medication.

The following information is provided for clinicians and other healthcare professionals.

Indications

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Taltz to treat:

  • moderate to severe plaque psoriasis that is suitable for systemic therapy or phototherapy; for this use, the drug can be prescribed for adults and children ages 6 years and older
  • active psoriatic arthritis in adults
  • non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA) in adults
  • active ankylosing spondylitis (AS), which is also called radiographic axial spondyloarthritis (r-axSpA); for this use, the drug can be prescribed for adults

Mechanism of action

Taltz contains ixekizumab, which is a humanized IgG monoclonal antibody. Ixekizumab selectively targets and binds to interleukin-17A (IL-17A). IL-17A is one of the inflammatory cytokines known to be involved in producing inflammatory and immune responses that cause psoriatic disease and ankylosing spondylitis. By binding to IL-17A, ixekizumab stops it from interacting with the IL-17A receptor and so inhibits these responses.

Pharmacokinetics and metabolism

Ixekizumab bioavailability ranged from 60% to 81% following subcutaneous injection in plaque psoriasis studies. Higher bioavailability was achieved via injection in the thigh compared to other injection sites such as the arm and abdomen.

The mean half-life was 13 days in subjects with plaque psoriasis.

The metabolic elimination pathway has not been identified, but it is expected to be similar to that of endogenous IgG with catabolic pathways producing small peptides and amino acids.

Contraindications

Taltz is contraindicated in people with a previous serious hypersensitivity reaction, such as anaphylaxis, to ixekizumab or its excipients.

Storage

The Taltz autoinjector and prefilled syringe must be stored in a refrigerator at 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C).

Do not freeze. Protect from light. Do not shake. Taltz can be kept at room temperature up to 86°F (30°C) for up to 5 days. Once stored at room temperature, it should not be put back in refrigerator.

Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.