Taltz (Ixekizumab) – Subcutaneous

What Is Taltz?

Taltz (ixekizumab) is an injectable medication used to treat adults and children aged 6 years or older with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. This treatment is for people whose condition may benefit from systemic therapy (injections or pills) or light therapy (phototherapy).

Taltz can also treat active psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis. These are autoimmune diseases that cause damage to the joints.

Taltz is a type of biologic drug called a monoclonal antibody. Antibodies are complex proteins produced by your immune system that attach themselves to foreign substances in your body. As a monoclonal antibody, Taltz selectively binds with a molecule called interleukin 17A (IL-17A) and deactivates it. This action helps improve the symptoms of arthritis and psoriasis.

Taltz is administered subcutaneously, meaning you inject it under the skin.

Drug Facts

Generic Name: Ixekizumab

Brand Name(s): Taltz

Administration Route(s): Subcutaneous

Drug Availability: Prescription

Therapeutic Classification: Monoclonal antibody

Available Generically: No

Controlled Substance: N/A

Active Ingredient: Ixekizumab

Dosage Form(s): Solution

Taltz (Ixekizumab) Drug Information - Illustration by Zoe Hansen

Verywell / Zoe Hansen

What Is Taltz Used For?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Taltz to treat certain autoimmune diseases (diseases in which your immune system attacks your own body’s tissues).

Specifically, Taltz is indicated for:

Taltz works by interfering with the activity of a signaling molecule (cytokine) called Il-17A, which is thought to play an important role in these diseases.

How to Take Taltz

Take Taltz exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider.

A healthcare provider will show you how to prepare and administer your Taltz injection. The Taltz injection comes in two forms: a single-dose prefilled autoinjector or a single-dose prefilled syringe. Your prescribing provider will decide which is best for you.

To administer it subcutaneously (under the skin), you will typically inject it into your thigh, stomach area, or back of the arm.

When injecting your dose, try to remember to:

  • Inject into a different site each time to avoid irritation
  • Not to inject the one-inch area around your belly button
  • Not to inject into an area of skin that is red, tender, bruised, or affected by psoriasis

For children under 110 pounds, Taltz must be injected by a healthcare provider.

The dosing schedule of Taltz depends on your condition. In kids with pediatric plaque psoriasis, the dose of Taltz is calculated based on the child’s weight.

Storage

To properly store Taltz, keep it away from light and in the refrigerator at temperatures between 36 degrees and 46 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not shake or freeze the injection. If the solution freezes, do not use it.

Once taken out of the fridge and kept at room temperature, do not put it back into the refrigerator for storage. Throw the medication away if it is unused after five days stored at room temperature.

Off-Label Uses

A healthcare provider may prescribe off-label treatments when the decision is supported by scientific evidence or expert clinical experience.

Drugs like Taltz may be helpful against several autoimmune skin diseases. Scientists are exploring how it may benefit the skin diseases hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) and pityriasis rubra pilaris (PRP).

What Are the Side Effects of Taltz?

Taltz can sometimes cause side effects. Communicate with your healthcare provider to let them know about any side effects that worsen or persist while taking Taltz.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. A medical professional can advise you on side effects. If you experience other effects, contact your pharmacist or a medical professional. You may report side effects to the FDA at www.fda.gov/medwatch or 800-FDA-1088.

Common Side Effects

Common side effects of Taltz include:

Severe Side Effects

Since Taltz affects your immune system, it can increase your risk of developing tuberculosis (TB). Your healthcare provider will check for TB before starting therapy and observe for signs of infection throughout treatment. If you have a history of TB or symptoms of active disease, you will need therapy to clear up the infection before starting Taltz.

Signs of TB infection can include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Sweats
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Taltz can also cause serious allergic reactions.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction include:

  • Light-headedness
  • Rash
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest tightness
  • Swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat

After taking Taltz, get emergency medical help immediately if you have symptoms like these. 

Symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, can appear or worsen on Taltz. Symptoms may include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhea (with or without blood)

Tell your healthcare provider if you develop these symptoms while on Taltz.

Report Side Effects

Taltz may cause other side effects. Call your healthcare provider if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your provider may send a report to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program or by phone (800-332-1088).

Dosage: How Much Taltz Should I Take?

Drug Content Provided and Reviewed by IBM Micromedex®

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For injection dosage form (autoinjector or prefilled syringe):
    • For ankylosing spondylitis:
      • Adults—160 milligrams (two-80 mg) injected under your skin at Week 0, followed by 80 mg every 4 weeks.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis:
      • Adults—80 milligrams (mg) injected under your skin every 4 weeks.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For plaque psoriasis:
      • Adults—160 milligrams (two-80 mg) injected under your skin at Week 0, followed by 80 mg at Weeks 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12, and then 80 mg every 4 weeks.
      • Children 6 years of age and older weighing more than 50 kilograms (kg)—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The starting dose is usually 160 mg (two-80 mg) injected under your skin at Week 0, followed by 80 mg every 4 weeks.
      • Children 6 years of age and older weighing 25 to 50 kg—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The starting dose is usually 80 mg injected under your skin at Week 0, followed by 40 mg every 4 weeks.
      • Children 6 years of age and older and weighing less than 25 kg—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The starting dose is usually 40 mg injected under your skin at Week 0, followed by 20 mg every 4 weeks.
      • Children younger than 6 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For psoriatic arthritis:
      • Adults—160 milligrams (two-80 mg) injected under your skin at Week 0, followed by 80 mg every 4 weeks.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Modifications

For children, the dosage can vary depending on the child's weight. A healthcare provider will determine the proper dosage for your child.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of Taltz, inject a dose as soon as you remember and take your next dose at your regular time.

Overdose: What Happens if I Take Too Much Taltz?

Contact your healthcare provider if you think you've taken too much Taltz. You may need to be monitored for any signs of negative reactions.

What Happens If I Overdose on Taltz?

If you think you or someone else may have overdosed on Taltz, call a healthcare provider or the Poison Control Center (800-222-1222).

If someone collapses, has a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t wake up after taking too much Taltz, call 911 immediately.

Precautions

Drug Content Provided and Reviewed by IBM Micromedex®

It is very important that your doctor check your or your child's progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

This medicine may cause you to get infections more easily (eg, eye, mouth, skin, or upper respiratory tract infections). It is important to check with your doctor if you or your child have fever or chills, cough or hoarseness, runny or stuffy nose, pain, redness, swelling, dryness, or itching of the eyes, skin itching or scaling, sores or white patches on your lips, mouth, or throat, lower back or side pain, or painful or difficult urination.

You will need to have a skin test for tuberculosis before you or your child starts using this medicine. Tell your doctor if you or anyone in your home has ever had a positive reaction to a tuberculosis test or been exposed to tuberculosis.

This medicine may cause serious allergic reactions, including angioedema. This may be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor if you or your child have a rash, itching, or large, hive-like swelling on face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs.

While you are being treated with ixekizumab, and after you stop treatment with it, do not have any immunizations (vaccines) without your doctor's approval. Ixekizumab may lower your body's resistance and the vaccine may not work as well, or you might get the infection the vaccine is meant to prevent. In addition, you should not be around other persons living in your household who receive live virus vaccines because there is a chance they could pass the virus on to you. Some examples of live vaccines include measles, mumps, influenza (nasal flu vaccine), poliovirus (oral form), rotavirus, and rubella. Do not get close to them and do not stay in the same room with them for very long. If you have questions about this, talk to your doctor.

Inflammatory bowel disease may occur or worsen while you are using this medicine. Tell your doctor right away if you or your child have rectal bleeding, severe abdominal or stomach pain, or severe diarrhea while using this medicine.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

What Are Reasons I Shouldn’t Take Taltz?

You should not take Taltz if you are allergic to ixekizumab or any ingredients of Taltz.

What Other Medications May Interact With Taltz?

There are important drug interactions with Taltz, so make sure your prescribing healthcare provider knows all the medications, herbs, and supplements you take.

Taltz is an immunosuppressant therapy, which means that it affects the functioning of your immune system. Other immunosuppressant drugs may interact with Taltz, and the combination may increase your risk of infection. Commonly used immunosuppressant drugs include:

  • Remicade (infliximab), which is used to treat a variety of autoimmune conditions
  • Prograf (tacrolimus), which is used to prevent transplant rejection
  • Arava (leflunomide), which is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis

Also, because Taltz affects your immune system, it can interact with vaccines you receive during or around the time of your treatment.

Vaccination with live viruses while taking Taltz can heighten your risk for infection by the weakened virus in the vaccine. Live vaccines can include:

  • Measles, mumps, rubella vaccines
  • Rotavirus vaccines
  • Rubella virus vaccines
  • Smallpox and monkeypox vaccine

If you take an immunosuppressant medication, COVID-19 vaccines may be less effective. If you get the vaccine while on Taltz, try to continue taking precautions to avoid COVID-19 exposure.

Discuss any vaccinations you plan to get with your healthcare provider.

Taltz can also interact with certain supplements. Tell your provider about any herbs or supplements you take or plan to take. Echinacea, a supplement frequently used to help fight infections, may make Taltz less effective.

What Medications Are Similar?

Ixekizumab is a member of a drug class called IL-17 inhibitors, which interfere with the action of a signaling molecule called IL-17.

Other IL-17 inhibitors include Cosentyx (secukinumab), also used for psoriasis and axial spondyloarthritis, and another psoriasis medication called Siliq (brodalumab).

Several other drugs are available for psoriasis and other autoimmune diseases. Like Taltz, these medications target different molecules that trigger inflammation. Broadly, this class of drugs is called immunomodulators or biologics.

Examples of these biologic drugs include:

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Taltz used for?

    Taltz is used to treat certain autoimmune diseases. The FDA approved Taltz to treat moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis. Taltz works by interfering with the activity of a signaling molecule (cytokine) called IL-17A, which is thought to play an important role in these diseases.

  • How does Taltz work?

    As a monoclonal antibody, Taltz selectively binds with a molecule called interleukin 17A (IL-17A) and prevents its interaction with the IL-17 receptor. IL-17A is a signaling molecule (or cytokine) that promotes inflammation. IL-17A is thought to play an important role in producing the inflammatory response that causes some autoimmune diseases.

  • What are the side effects of Taltz?

    Common side effects of Taltz include skin reactions at the injection site, upper respiratory infections, nausea, or a fungal skin infection.

    Serious side effects include increased susceptibility to infections like tuberculosis, allergic reactions (sometimes severe), and symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease.

How Can I Stay Healthy While Taking Taltz?

Treatment with drugs like Taltz can offer hope for people living with chronic autoimmune diseases like psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and axial spondyloarthritis

Taltz is a monoclonal antibody, a complex protein tailored to target certain molecules which play a role in these autoimmune diseases. These kinds of medications have only been around for the past few decades and represent a huge advancement in the treatment of these conditions.

Taltz can be associated with severe side effects, like susceptibility to infections, allergic reactions, and symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease.  Maintain open lines of communication with your healthcare providers to be on top of any side effects that may develop.

Medical Disclaimer

Verywell Health's drug information is meant for educational purposes only and is not intended as a replacement for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a healthcare professional. Consult your doctor before taking any new medication(s). IBM Watson Micromedex provides some of the drug content, as indicated on the page.

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4 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. Food and Drug Administration. Medication Guide. Taltz (ixekizuman) injection, for subcutaneous use.

  3. Wu KK, Dao H Jr. Off-label dermatologic uses of IL-17 inhibitors. J Dermatolog Treat. 2020 Mar 9:1-7. doi:10.1080/09546634.2020.1737638

  4. Prescriber's Digital Reference. Ixekizumab - Drug Summary.