Ixekizumab

Ixekizumab treats moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis (a skin condition characterized by raised, red patches covered with flaky, silvery scales).

Ixekizumab Overview

Reviewed: March 23, 2016
Updated: 

Ixekizumab is a prescription medication used to treat moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis. It belongs to a group of drugs called interleukin blockers. These drugs work by blocking the inflammatory process that is responsible for the development of plaque psoriasis.

Ixekizumab comes in an autoinjector and a prefilled syringe that you or your caregiver may use at home to give injections. Ixekizumab is injected just under your skin (subcutaneous injection), in your thighs, stomach area (abdomen), or the back of your arm, by you or a caregiver. Ixekizumab is administered every 2 weeks for the first 3 months, then once every month thereafter. 

Common side effects include injection site reactions, upper respiratory tract infections, and nausea. 

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Ixekizumab Cautionary Labels

precautionsprecautions

Uses of Ixekizumab

Ixekizumab is a prescription medication used to treat adults:

  • with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, and
  • who may benefit from taking injections or pills (systemic therapy) or phototherapy (treatment using ultraviolet or UV light)

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Ixekizumab Brand Names

Ixekizumab may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Ixekizumab Drug Class

Ixekizumab is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Ixekizumab

Ixekizumab may cause serious side effects. See "Drug Precautions".

  • Serious allergic reactions. If you have a severe allergic reaction, do not give another injection of ixekizumab. Get emergency medical help right away if you get any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction:
    • feel faint
    • swelling of your face, eyelids, lips, mouth, tongue, or throat
    • trouble breathing or throat tightness
    • chest tightness
    • skin rash
  • Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis (Inflammatory bowel disease) can happen during treatment with ixekizumab, including worsening symptoms. Tell your healthcare provider if you have new or worsening symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease during treatment, including:
    • stomach (abdomen) pain
    • diarrhea with or without blood
    • weight loss

Common side effects include:

  • injection site reactions
  • upper respiratory infections
  • fungal infections
  • nausea

This is not a complete list of ixekizumab side effects. Tell your doctor about any side effect that bothers you or does not go away.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Ixekizumab Interactions

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your healthcare provider if you take:

  • warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven)
  • cyclosporine

Tell your healthcare provider if you are planning to receive any "live" vaccines such as chickenpox vaccine (Varicella), nasal vaccine for influenza (FluMist), measles, mumps, rubella vaccine (MMR), Polio vaccine, Rotavirus vaccine, Smallpox vaccine, Yellow fever vaccine, BCG vaccine. If you receive a "live vaccine" while taking ixekizumab, you may become infected with the bacteria or virus contained in the vaccine.

Keep a list of all your medicines with you to show your healthcare provider and pharmacist each time you get a new medicine. Ask your healthcare provider if you are not sure if your medicine is one listed above.

    Ixekizumab Precautions

    Ixekizumab is a medicine that affects your immune system. It may lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections and may increase your risk of infections, which can sometimes become serious.

    • Your healthcare provider should check you for tuberculosis (TB) before you start treatment.
    • Your healthcare provider may treat you with medicine for TB before you begin treatment with ixekizumab if you have a past history of TB or have TB.
    • Your healthcare provider should watch you closely for signs and symptoms of TB during and after treatment with ixekizumab.

    Before starting ixekizumab, tell your healthcare provider if you:

    • are being treated for an infection
    • have an infection that does not go away or that keeps coming back
    • have TB or have been in close contact with someone with TB
    • think you have an infection or have symptoms of an infection such as:
      • fever, sweats, or chills
      • muscle aches
      • cough
      • shortness of breath
      • blood in your phlegm (mucus)
      • weight loss
      • warm, red, or painful skin or sores on your body
      • diarrhea or stomach pain
      • burning when you urinate or urinate more often than normal

    After starting ixekizumab, call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the symptoms of infection listed above.

    Do not use ixekizumab if you have any symptoms of infection unless you are instructed to by your healthcare provider.

    Do not use ixekizumab if you have had a severe allergic reaction to ixekizumab or any of the other inactive ingredients.

    Ixekizumab Food Interactions

    Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of ixekizumab, there are no specific foods you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.

    Inform MD

    Before using ixekizumab, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

    • have any of the conditions or symptoms listed in the "Ixekizumab Precautions" section.
    • have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
    • have recently received or are scheduled to receive an immunization (vaccine). You should avoid receiving live vaccines during treatment with ixekizumab.
    • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if this medicine can harm your unborn baby.
    • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if this medicine passes into your breast milk.

    Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

    Ixekizumab and Pregnancy

    Before using ixekizumab, tell your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if this medicine can harm your unborn baby.

    Ixekizumab and Lactation

    Before using ixekizumab, tell your healthcare provider if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if this medicine passes into your breast milk.

    Ixekizumab Usage

    See the detailed Instructions for Use that comes with your prescription for information on how to prepare and inject a dose of ixekizumab, and how to properly throw away (dispose of) the used autoinjectors and prefilled syringes.

    • Use ixekizumab exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider.
    • If your healthcare provider decides that you or a caregiver may give your injections of ixekizumab at home, you should receive training on the right way to prepare and inject ixekizumab. Do not try to inject yourself, until you or your caregiver have been shown how to inject ixekizumab.
    • Ixekizumab comes in an autoinjector and a prefilled syringe that you or your caregiver may use at home to give injections. Your healthcare provider will decide which type of ixekizumab is best for you to use at home.
    • Ixekizumab is given as an injection under your skin (subcutaneous injection), in your thighs or stomach area (abdomen) by you or a caregiver. A caregiver may also give you the injection of ixekizumab in the back of your arm.
    • Do not give an injection in an area of the skin that is tender, bruised, red or hard, or in an area of skin that is affected by psoriasis.
    • Each injection should be given at an alternate site. Do not use the one inch area around your navel (belly button).

    If you forget to take your dose:

    • Do not miss any doses unless your healthcare provider says it is okay. If you forget to take your dose, inject a dose as soon as you remember. Then, take your next dose at your regular scheduled time.
    • If you inject more ixekizumab than prescribed, call your healthcare provider or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

    Ixekizumab Dosage

    The recommended dose is ixekizumab 160 mg (two 80 mg injections) at Week 0, followed by 80 mg at Weeks 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12, then 80 mg every 4 weeks.

    Ixekizumab Overdose

    If you take too much ixekizumab, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center right away.

    Other Requirements

    • Store ixekizumab in the refrigerator between 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C).
    • Protect from light.
    • Do not freeze. Do not use if ixekizumab has been frozen.
    • Do not shake the injection.

    Keep all medicines out of the reach of children and pets.