What is Skyrizi used for?
Skyrizi (risankizumab-rzaa) is an interleukin-23 antagonist that is manufactured by AbbVie Inc. It is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of:
- moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis in adults who are candidates for systemic therapy or phototherapy.
- active psoriatic arthritis (PsA) in adults.
- moderately to severely active Crohn’s disease in adults.
How does Skyrizi work?
Plaque psoriasis that appears on your skin starts inside your body. The exact cause is not fully understood but experts think an overactive immune system plays a part. Skyrizi is a monoclonal antibody that binds to an inflammatory protein called IL-23. By attaching to excess IL-23, Skyrizi reduces the inflammation that can lead to plaques on your skin and other symptoms.
What are the most commonly prescribed doses of Skyrizi?
- 150mg/ml single-dose prefilled pen
- 150mg/ml single-dose prefilled syringe
- 75mg/0.83ml single-dose prefilled syringe
- 360mg/2.4ml (150mg/ml) single-dose prefilled cartridge with On-Body Injector
- 600mg/10ml (60 mg/ml) single-dose vial for IV infusion
How to take Skyrizi
- Read the Full Prescribing Information and Medication Guide that is included with Skyrizi. It will contain instructions on how you should prepare and inject a dose of this medication, and how to properly dispose of your used prefilled syringe, prefilled pen or prefilled cartridge with an on-body injector.
- Use Skyrizi exactly as your doctor prescribes it to you.
- Your doctor should show you how to inject Skyrizi before you give your first dose.
- Take Skyrizi out of the refrigerator and let it warm up to room temperature before using it. Allow 30-90 minutes for the prefilled pen and 15-30 minutes for the prefilled syringe.
- Skyrizi can be injected into your abdomen or the front of your thighs. Do not inject within 2 inches of your belly button.
- If you miss a dose of this medication, inject a dose immediately. Take the next dose at your regular scheduled time.
- If you think you’ve injected more of the medication than prescribed, call your doctor immediately.
- Adults treated for psoriatic arthritis or plaque psoriasis will be given Skyrizi as a subcutaneous injection (under the skin) using a prefilled pen or prefilled syringe.
- Adults with Crohn’s disease will receive their initial doses of Skyrizi as an intravenous (IV) infusion in a healthcare facility by a healthcare professional. After completing the starter doses, you will be given Skyrizi as a subcutaneous injection using a prefilled cartridge with an on-body injector.
- Skyrizi may be given alone or in addition to non-biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs).
- It is not known if Skyrizi can cause fetal harm. Talk with your doctor to see if Skyrizi is right for you if you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant. There is a pregnancy exposure registry that monitors outcomes if you become pregnant while taking Skyrizi. You can enroll by calling 1-877-302-2161 or visiting http://glowpregnancyregistry.com.
- There is no data on whether Skyrizi is found in breast milk or the effects it has on breastfed infants and milk production. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of breastfeeding while taking Skyrizi.
- Store Skyrizi in the refrigerator between 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C) in the original carton. Do not freeze Skyrizi. Do not shake Skyrizi.
Skyrizi is contraindicated in:
- Patients with a history of allergic reactions to Skyrizi or any of its inactive ingredients.
- Serious allergic reactions may occur, including anaphylaxis. Stop taking Skyrizi and get emergency medical help immediately if you have symptoms such as dizziness, swelling of your face, eyelids, mouth, tongue, or throat, trouble breathing, skin rash, and hives.
- Skyrizi may increase your risk of infection. Seek medical advice if you have signs and symptoms of an infection. If you develop an infection, do not take Skyrizi until it is resolved.
- You should be evaluated for tuberculosis (TB) before initiating treatment with Skyrizi. Your healthcare provider may treat you for TB before you begin Skyrizi if you have a history of TB or have active TB.
- Liver injury has occurred with Skyrizi in the treatment of Crohn’s disease. Your healthcare provider should do blood tests to check your liver before, during, and up to 12 weeks of treatment. They may stop your treatment if you develop liver problems.
- Your liver enzymes should be monitored before beginning Skyrizi, during induction, and for up to at least 3 months of treatment.
- Avoid the use of live vaccines.
Skyrizi drug interactions
When Skyrizi is taken with other medicines, they may interact and change how those work. It may also increase the severity of certain side effects or make them more likely to occur. Make sure your healthcare provider is aware of all the medications you take, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Some possible drug interactions of Skyrizi include:
- Other immunosuppressants
- Live vaccines
Side effects of Skyrizi
Some common side effects of Skyrizi may include:
- Upper respiratory infections
- Injection site reactions
- Fungal skin infections
- Joint pain
- Stomach pain
Skyrizi can cause some serious side effects including:
- Hypersensitivity reactions, including anaphylaxis.
- Serious infections such as tuberculosis and infections of the skin, bones, or blood. Notify your doctor if you have an infection or have symptoms of an infection, including fever, sweats, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, muscle aches, weight loss, diarrhea, or pain while urinating.
- Liver problems have occurred with Skyrizi during the treatment of Crohn’s disease.
You can report any side effects you experience to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch.
There are other medications that your healthcare provider can prescribe if Skyrizi is not the right medication for you. Some alternative FDA-approved treatment options include:
How does Skyrizi compare with Taltz (ixekizumab)?
Skyrizi and Taltz are both interleukin antagonists that are approved to treat moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis in adults who are candidates for systemic therapy or phototherapy.
They cause a lot of the same side effects such as injection site reactions and an increased risk of infection. However, Skyrizi is more likely to cause headache and fatigue while Taltz is more likely to cause nausea.
Skyrizi and Taltz both interact with live vaccines, Coumadin (warfarin) and Sandimmune (cyclosporine).
Skyrizi is given as a 150mg subcutaneous injection at Week 0, Week 4, and then every 12 weeks thereafter. Skyrizi is very expensive and costs approximately $17,000 per 150mg prefilled pen.
Taltz is given as two 80mg subcutaneous injections (160mg) at Week 0, then 80 mg at Weeks 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, and then 80 mg every 4 weeks thereafter. Taltz is also expensive and costs over $6500 per 80mg dose.
How long does Skyrizi stay in your system?
Skyrizi has a half-life of approximately 28 days in patients with plaque psoriasis and 21 days in those with Crohn’s disease so it will stay in your system for 4 to 5 months.
How do I store Skyrizi?
You should store Skyrizi in the refrigerator between 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C) in the original carton. Do not freeze or shake Skyrizi.
How long does it take for Skyrizi to start working?
Some patients start to see improvements in their psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis in as soon as 4 weeks. It may take 16 weeks or longer for other patients to have a reduction in symptoms.
Is there a generic for Skyrizi?
Currently, there is not a generic for Skyrizi available on the market. However, you can still save on brand-name drugs like Skyrizi with the help of NiceRx.