What is Taltz?

Taltz is a brand-name prescription medication. It's used in adults to treat:

  • moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, which is one of several types of psoriasis. Your doctor may prescribe Taltz if they think your psoriasis would benefit from systemic treatment (medication taken as tablets or injections) or phototherapy (light treatment).
  • psoriatic arthritis, which is a form of arthritis (joint swelling) that can sometimes develop in people with psoriasis.

Taltz contains ixekizumab. This is a type of biologic (a drug made from parts of living organisms) 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 yourself the injection at home.

Effectiveness

Clinical studies examined people with plaque psoriasis who were treated with Taltz. After 12 weeks:

  • 81% to 83% of people had minimal psoriasis symptoms or saw their symptoms clear up
  • 87% to 90% of people had at least a 75% improvement in their psoriasis symptoms

Seventy-five percent of the people who had minimal or no psoriasis symptoms after 12 weeks continued to see benefits after 60 weeks of Taltz treatment.

Other clinical studies of Taltz looked at people with psoriatic arthritis. After 24 weeks, 53% to 58% of people who received the drug had at least a 20% improvement in their symptoms.

Between 35% and 40% of people had an improvement in their symptoms of at least 50%. And 22% to 23% of people had an improvement of at least 70%.

Taltz is available only as a brand-name medication. It's not currently available in a generic form.

Taltz contains one active drug ingredient: ixekizumab.

The Taltz dosage your doctor prescribes depends on if you have plaque psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, or both conditions.

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

Drug forms and strengths

Taltz is available in one strength: 80 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. Talk with your doctor about which form is best for you.

Dosage for psoriatic arthritis

Your first 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 every four weeks for as long as your doctor recommends.

Dosage for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis

Your first 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 every two weeks for 12 weeks. Then you'll have one injection every four weeks for as long as your doctor recommends.

Dosage for psoriatic arthritis and moderate to severe plaque psoriasis

If you have both conditions, you'll use the dosage for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. See above.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss an injection, you should have it as soon as possible. Then have 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.

Medication reminders can help make sure that you don't miss a dose.

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 does not 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.

More common side effects

The more common side effects of Taltz can include:

  • injection site reactions (redness and soreness around the injection area)
  • upper respiratory infections, such as the common cold or the flu
  • nausea
  • fungal infections, such as athlete's foot
  • conjunctivitis (pink eye)

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.

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:

  • severe allergic reactions
  • inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis
  • increased risk of infections, such as tuberculosis

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. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you're having a medical emergency.

Injection site pain

You may have a skin reaction at the spot where you inject Taltz. It may cause symptoms such as redness or pain.

In clinical studies, 17 percent of people 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 germs, you may be more likely to get an infection.

In clinical studies, 27% of people 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% 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 (no treatment) also got an infection.
  • In people who received Taltz treatment for 60 weeks, 57% got an infection compared to 32% who received a placebo.

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.)

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 three weeks or longer
  • coughing up blood or mucus
  • pain in the chest
  • night sweats

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 or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). So if you lose weight while taking Taltz, it's very important to see your doctor.

And 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. 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 and psoriatic arthritis.

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 that. 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. After Taltz was approved, a few people reported 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 these programs, 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.

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. It's suitable for people whose psoriasis may benefit from systemic treatment (medication taken as tablets or injections) 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.

Clinical studies looked at how Taltz affected symptoms of plaque psoriasis. 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.

Taltz for other conditions

In addition to the use(s) listed above, Taltz may be used off-label for other uses. 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

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 the immune system attacks 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.

Taltz for axial spondyloarthritis

Taltz isn't approved to treat axial spondyloarthritis (AS). However, your doctor may prescribe the drug off-label if other approved treatments haven't worked for you.

AS is a form of arthritis in which the joints in the spine become inflamed (swollen).

Taltz works on the part of the immune system that's involved in causing this joint inflammation. Several studies have looked into whether Taltz can help AS. One review of studies found that drugs that work like Taltz (by blocking IL-17) were effective for treating AS.

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, not swelling. So osteoarthritis wouldn't be helped by drugs, such as Taltz, that affect your immune system.

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

However, drinking alcohol may make psoriasis worse or make treatment less effective. Alcohol may also make your immune system less able to fight infections.

Current guidelines for the treatment and management of 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:

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

Alternatives for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis

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

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

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 biologics (drugs made from parts of living organisms) that target a specific part of the immune system. They work in the same way to help:

  • prevent plaques (thick, red, scaly patches on your skin) from forming in people with psoriasis
  • reduce joint swelling in people with psoriatic arthritis

Taltz contains the drug ixekizumab. 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. It's involved in causing psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

Uses

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved both Taltz and Cosentyx to treat moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in adults. These drugs are suitable for people whose psoriasis could benefit from systemic treatment (medication taken as tablets or injections) or phototherapy (light treatment).

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

In addition, Cosentyx is approved for treating active ankylosing spondylitis in adults.

Drug forms and administration

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

For Taltz

Taltz comes in two forms: a single-use prefilled syringe and a single-use prefilled autoinjector pen. Both forms contain 80 mg of ixekizumab.

Taltz dosage depends on the condition being treated:

  • For plaque psoriasis, you'll have two injections for the first dose. This will be followed by one injection every two weeks for 12 weeks. After this, you'll have one injection every four weeks for as long as your doctor recommends.
  • For psoriatic arthritis, you'll have two injections for the first dose. This will be followed by one injection every four weeks for as long as your doctor recommends.

For Cosentyx

Cosentyx comes in three forms:

  • a single-use Sensoready pen
  • a single-use prefilled syringe
  • a single-use vial for injection by your healthcare provider

All three forms contain 150 mg of secukinumab.

Like Taltz, the Cosentyx dosage depends on the condition being treated:

  • For plaque psoriasis, you'll have two injections of Cosentyx on the same day each week for five weeks. This will be followed by two injections every four weeks. For some people, one injection every four weeks may be enough.
  • For psoriatic arthritis, you'll have one injection of Cosentyx on the same day each week for five weeks. This will be followed by one injection every four weeks. Some people may skip right to getting one injection every four weeks, without the first five weeks of treatment. Your doctor will decide which dosage is right for you.

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).

  • Can occur with Taltz:
    • injection site reactions (redness and soreness around the injection area)
    • conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Can occur with Cosentyx:
    • diarrhea
    • mouth sores
    • skin rash
  • Can occur with both Taltz and Cosentyx:
    • fungal infections, such as athlete's foot
    • upper respiratory infections, such as the common cold
    • nausea

Serious side effects

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

  • increased risk of infections (potentially serious), such as tuberculosis
  • new or worsening inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis
  • severe allergic reactions

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)

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

Cosenytx 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 biologics (drugs made from parts of living organisms). They target different and 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. It's involved in causing psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

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 in adults. Your doctor may prescribe these drugs if your psoriasis could benefit from systemic treatment (medication taken as tablets or injections) or phototherapy (light treatment).

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

Humira also has FDA approval for treating the following conditions:

  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • moderate to severe juvenile idiopathic arthritis
  • ankylosing spondylitis
  • Crohn's disease
  • moderate to severe ulcerative colitis
  • hidradenitis suppurativa, a painful skin condition also called acne inversa
  • some types of noninfectious uveitis (a type of eye swelling), including intermediate uveitis, posterior uveitis, and panuveitis

Drug forms and administration

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

For Taltz

Taltz comes in two forms: a single-use prefilled syringe and a single-use prefilled autoinjector pen. Both forms contain 80 mg of ixekizumab.

Taltz dosage depends on the condition being treated:

  • For plaque psoriasis, you'll have two injections for the first dose. This will be followed by one injection every two weeks for 12 weeks. After this, you'll have one injection every four weeks for as long as your doctor recommends.
  • For psoriatic arthritis, you'll have two injections for the first dose. This will be followed by one injection every four weeks for as long as your doctor recommends.

For Humira

Humira comes in three forms:

  • a single-use prefilled pen (40-mg and 80-mg strengths)
  • a single-use prefilled syringe (10-mg, 20-mg, 40-mg, and 80-mg strengths)
  • a single-use 40-mg vial for injection by your healthcare provider

Like Taltz, Humira dosage depends on the condition being treated:

  • For plaque psoriasis, your first dose of Humira will be 80 mg. Then you'll have 40 mg every two weeks, starting one week after your first dose.
  • For psoriatic arthritis, you'll have 40 mg of Humira every two weeks.

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).

  • Can occur with Taltz:
    • fungal infections, such as athlete's foot
    • conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Can occur with Humira:
    • headaches
    • rash
  • Can occur with both Taltz and Humira:
    • injection site reactions, such as redness and soreness around the injection area
    • upper respiratory infections, such as the common cold
    • nausea

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).

  • Can occur with Taltz:
    • new or worsening inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis
  • Can occur with Humira:
    • liver problems, such as liver failure
    • nervous system problems, such as multiple sclerosis
    • blood problems, such as reduced numbers of red or white blood cells, or platelets
    • heart failure
    • increased risk of some cancers, such as skin cancer, leukemia, and lymphoma
    • new or worsening psoriasis
  • Can occur with both Taltz and Humira:
    • increased risk of infections (potentially serious), such as tuberculosis
    • severe allergic reactions

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

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 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

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 is comparing how effective Taltz and Humira are in treating psoriatic arthritis and plaque psoriasis. The full results are expected in August 2019.

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 will depend 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 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:

  • chickenpox
  • yellow fever
  • tuberculosis (TB)
  • measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR)

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 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: Cequa, Gengraf, Neoral, Restasis, and Sandimmune.

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.

Taltz is given as an injection just under your skin (subcutaneous). Your healthcare provider can give you the injection. They can also teach you how to inject yourself at home. You can have your 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

For your first dose, you'll have two injections on the same day. This will usually be done at your doctor's office.

  • If you have psoriasis: After the first dose, you'll have one injection every two weeks for 12 weeks. This will be followed by one injection every four weeks for as long as your doctor recommends.
  • If you have psoriatic arthritis: After the first dose, you'll have one injection every four weeks for as long as your doctor recommends.
  • If you have psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis: See the recommendation for "psoriasis" above.

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.

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 and psoriatic arthritis are autoimmune conditions. They cause your immune system (your body's defense against disease) to attack healthy cells by mistake. With psoriasis, your immune system attacks skin cells, causing them to be replaced too quickly. The skin cells build up on the surface of your skin, creating silvery, scaly, red patches called plaques.

With psoriatic arthritis, your immune system attacks your joints and causes them to be inflamed (swollen).

Various parts of the immune system are involved in causing psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. 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. Taltz blocks the action of this protein, stopping 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

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.

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 gets 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. 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 who received Taltz. Ulcerative colitis occurred in 0.2% of people 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 washcloth 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.

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, in particular tuberculosis (TB). 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 (IBD). 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:

  • upper respiratory infections, such as the common cold
  • nausea
  • fungal infections, such as athlete's foot
  • severe allergic reactions
  • inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis
  • increased risk of infections, such as tuberculosis

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 one 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 five days.

Be sure to keep the syringe or autoinjector pen in its original cartons to protect from it light. If you don't use a syringe or pen within five 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 in a sharps container. If you don't have a sharps container, you can get one at your local pharmacy.

If you no longer need to take Taltz and have leftover medication, it's important to dispose of it safely. This helps prevent others, including children and pets, from taking the drug by accident. It also helps keep the drug from harming the environment.

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 in adults suitable for systemic therapy or phototherapy
  • active psoriatic arthritis in 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. 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 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 five 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.