Taltz side effects and how to avoid them
Taltz is a brand-name medication manufactured by Eli Lilly and Company. It is classified as a monoclonal antibody used to treat certain autoimmune diseases such as psoriasis. While Taltz is generally well tolerated, there are some potential side effects that people should be aware of. The most common side effects of Taltz include injection site reactions. Less common but more serious side effects can include serious allergic reactions.
Learn more about the side effects of Taltz and what you can do to avoid them.
What is Taltz (ixekizumab)?
Taltz is a medication prescribed to adults and children to help treat the following autoimmune diseases:
- Active psoriatic arthritis in adults (Taltz can be used alone or with another medicine called methotrexate)
- Moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis in adults and children over six years old who are candidates for systemic therapy or phototherapy
- Active ankylosing spondylitis in adults
- Active non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis with signs of inflammation in adults
Unfortunately, there are no permanent cures for the above autoimmune diseases. They can, however, be managed with medications that help reduce their symptoms, like Taltz. Taltz helps to reduce the amount of inflammation your immune system causes. This can ease the symptoms of your disease.
The active ingredient in Taltz is called ixekizumab. It helps to reduce the amount of inflammation your immune system triggers. Ixekizumab works by blocking the action of a substance in your body called interleukin. This substance is produced by your immune system to trigger inflammation. Ixekizumab binds with interleukin, stopping it from working, and reducing how much inflammation your immune system can cause.
Taltz is available in injection form as an 80 mg/mL solution in a single-dose prefilled autoinjector or prefilled syringe.
You inject Taltz under your skin (subcutaneous injection), usually in your thighs, stomach, or the back of your arm. It comes in an autoinjector and a prefilled syringe that you can inject yourself, or it can be injected by a caregiver in your home.
You are advised to read the medication guide and prescribing information provided with this medicine for the drug information and patient information and always speak with your healthcare provider for medical advice about any changes to your dose so they can monitor and evaluate your condition.
How long do you stay on Taltz?
You will continue using Taltz for as long as your doctor recommends you to do so.
Can you drink alcohol while on Taltz?
Alcohol does not interact with Taltz but may cause a flare-up of conditions such as ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, and plaque psoriasis.
Taltz side effects
The most common possible side effects of Taltz include:
- Injection site reactions, like itching, bruising, rashes, and pain
- Nausea, stomach pain
- An increased risk of upper respiratory tract infections
- Flu-like symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat
- An increased risk of fungal infections
Sometimes Taltz can cause long-term, more serious side effects. These are rarer but could include:
- An increased risk of developing a serious infection, like tuberculosis or thrush, as Taltz can reduce your immune system’s ability to fight infections
- Serious allergic reactions such as hives, skin rash, swelling of the face, tongue, or throat, severe dizziness, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- A risk of developing an inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, or a risk of these diseases getting worse if you already have them
If you experience any of these serious side effects, stop taking Taltz and seek medical attention immediately. You are encouraged to report the negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Does Taltz cause weight loss or weight gain?
Taltz is not known to cause changes in weight. Serious infections and inflammatory bowel disease may, however cause weight loss.
Does Taltz cause hair loss?
Hair loss is not a side effect of using Taltz treatment. However, plaque psoriasis affecting your scalp can cause hair loss.
Does Taltz affect the eyes?
Taltz can cause conjunctivitis as a rare side effect. It is important to be aware that children using Taltz for the treatment of plaque psoriasis experience conjunctivitis more than adults.
Does Taltz cause depression?
Depression is not a side effect of Taltz but is common in those suffering from psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis.
Does Taltz cause fatigue?
Fatigue is not a common side effect of using Taltz. If you experience this symptom, speak to your doctor for medical advice.
How long do Taltz side effects last?
Mild side effects of Taltz may go away in a few days to a couple of weeks but speak to your doctor if side effects become troublesome.
Why does Taltz hurt so bad?
Taltz may cause injection site reactions such as redness or pain.
Taltz drug interactions
Taltz can interact with other medications, including:
- Any other medications you’re taking for your condition
- Any medications that affect the way your liver enzymes work
- Any antibiotics or other medications you’re taking to treat a bacterial infection
- Any medications you’re taking to treat a fungal infection
- Live vaccines
Before taking Taltz, be sure to tell your doctor about all of the medications you are taking to ensure they are safe to take at the same time.
Taltz warnings & precautions
Don’t take Taltz if you:
- Are allergic to the active ingredient ixekizumab
- Are allergic to any of the other ingredients in Taltz
- Are under 18 years of age to treat psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, or non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis
Talk to your doctor before taking Taltz if you:
- Have tuberculosis or have recently been in contact with someone with tuberculosis
- Are currently being treated for an infection or have an infection
- Have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
- Have recently had a vaccine, or are due to have a vaccine
- Are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant
- Are breastfeeding – It is not known if ixekizumab passes into breast milk
You should always check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medication, including Taltz, to make sure it is safe for you.
How to avoid Taltz side effects
The best way to avoid side effects is to take Taltz as directed by your doctor. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully, and do not take more or less than prescribed.
If you experience any side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to recommend ways to help reduce or prevent some of the side effects.
1. Stick to the recommended dosage
Take your prescribed dose of Taltz that has been recommended by your healthcare professional. Do not take more or less than prescribed.
2. Monitor your blood sugar levels
If you have diabetes, it is important to monitor your blood sugar levels closely while taking Taltz. Check your blood sugar levels as directed by your doctor and report any changes to your doctor immediately.
3. Drink plenty of fluids
Drink eight to 10 glasses of water or fluids every day to help prevent dehydration, which can make side effects worse.
4. Don’t skip meals
Eating regular meals and snacks will help to prevent low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia).
5. Check your feet
If you have diabetes, check your feet for any cuts, sores, or redness regularly. Tell your doctor if you experience any problems with your feet while taking Taltz.
6. Know the signs and symptoms of Taltz side effects
Signs and symptoms of side effects include upper respiratory tract infections. If you experience any of these symptoms, speak to your doctor for medical advice.
7. Tell your doctor about all medications you’re taking
Be sure to tell your doctor about all other medications you’re taking, including over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and herbal supplements, as they can interact with Taltz.
8. Get regular medical checkups
It is important to get regular medical checkups and monitor your medical conditions. Your doctor will monitor your condition and may adjust your dose of Taltz as needed.
A medical professional has reviewed this article.
Dr. Jamie Winn received his Doctor of Pharmacy in 2002 from the University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy, Columbia, SC. Jamie is a medical reviewer for NiceRx.