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Updated June 2022
You may notice reduced joint swelling, pain and stiffness, often within the first 8 weeks of starting.
If you stop or delay your ixekizumab treatment, your condition may get worse. Keep on your treatment, unless told by your rheumatologist to stop or unless side effects occur (see Side effects).
If you stop ixekizumab for any reason, you must contact your rheumatologist. Failure to do so may mean that your treatment may no longer be funded.
Medicines like ixekizumab are very expensive and funded by Medicare. Certain conditions must be met to receive it.
Ixekizumab is injected just under the skin of the thigh or abdomen. It is best to avoid (if possible) any areas of skin involved with psoriasis. The prefilled autoinjector or syringe should be taken out of refrigerator 30 minutes before injecting to allow it to reach room temperature. Do not shake or freeze it. It can be injected by your doctor, nurse, carer, or by you. If injecting yourself, be sure to follow the detailed instructions carefully to ensure the best response. It is important to change the injection site each time.
If you miss an injection: make the next injection as soon as you remember and continue to use it as you normally would. Do not inject a double dose to make up for a missed dose. If you have missed more than one dose or are not sure what to do, check with your doctor or pharmacist.
Ixekizumab is an 80mg prefilled syringe or prefilled autoinjector. The usual starting dose is:
This medicine may be used alone or with other arthritis medicines including:
You might experience side effects with your treatment. Tell your doctor if you notice side effects that you think are caused by this medicine. Many side effects disappear when ixekizumab treatment is stopped.
You may experience more frequent mild upper respiratory tract infections (common cold, sinus infections), nausea, diarrhoea, cough, and fever. Infections may need treatment and ixekizumab may need to be stopped for a while if you develop infection, so it is important to contact your doctor for advice.
Other less common side effects include oral thrush, signs of low white cells (such as fever, sore throat or mouth ulcers due to infections), athlete's foot, ear infections, conjunctivitis or discharge from the eye with itching, redness and swelling.
There are some rare but potentially serious side effects with ixekizumab:
Other side effects not listed in this leaflet may also occur. Tell your doctor if you notice any other side effects that you think might be caused by ixekizumab.
If you have an active infection of any kind, treatment with ixekizumab will not be started until the infection is treated successfully.
Serious infections such as tuberculosis (TB) are seen rarely, and screening for TB may be needed before treatment begins.
Ixekizumab can interact with other medicines. You should tell all your doctors about all medicines you are taking or plan to take. This includes over the counter or herbal/naturopathic medicines.
Ixekizumab should not be used while receiving light therapy (PUVA) for psoriasis.
If you require surgery for any reason, you should discuss this with your rheumatologist as some people need to stop taking ixekizumab before surgery
You may drink alcohol while taking ixekizumab. However, if you are also taking methotrexate, you should be cautious about how much alcohol you drink.