Psoriasis is a bothersome skin condition, afflicting over 7 million people in the United States. While psoriasis has various types, the most prevalent form of psoriasis is plaque psoriasis. Plaque psoriasis causes irritated, bumpy, painful, and itchy patches on the skin that are marked by the scaling of excess dead skin cells. Although plaque psoriasis can affect any part of the body, it most commonly presents itself on the scalp, elbows, back, and knees.
Plaque Psoriasis Treatment
Plaque psoriasis is a chronic condition that is characterized by periods of flare-ups and remissions. While it is incurable, there are treatment options that lessen the frequency and severity of outbreaks.
There are many treatment methods that can be tried out to relieve plaque psoriasis symptoms, including topical ointments with certain active ingredients, phototherapy, as well as immunotherapy drugs. However, a newer and more effective form of treatment is the use of biologic medications such as ixekizumab (available under the brand name Taltz). Typically taken intravenously, biologics target a particular immune cell or inhibit the action of some proteins to prevent or reduce inflammation.
What Ixekizumab (Taltz) Is
Taltz is a prescription-strength medication approved for the treatment of both psoriatic arthritis and moderate-to-severe cases of plaque psoriasis.
How Ixekizumab (Taltz) Works
The root cause of plaque psoriasis is a defective immune system response. A certain protein in the body known as interleukin 17A (IL-17A) is actively responsible for causing inflammation and the formation plaques. Ixekizumab reduces inflammation by barring interleukin 17A. However, because Ixekizumab is a drug that targets the immune system, it can impair the immune system’s ability to ward off infections, putting patients at a higher risk of infections.
Ixekizumab Side Effects
The most common side effects associated with ixekizumab are reactions on injection areas, upper respiratory tract infections, and nausea. If you undergo a severe allergic reaction marked by rashes, breathing problems, and facial swelling, seek medical attention as soon as possible. The medication can also cause an inflammatory bowel disease such as colitis or exacerbate the symptoms of IBD in those who already have it. If you experience stomach pain or other digestive irregularities while on ixekizumab, contact your physician about your symptoms immediately.
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