Ixekizumab (Taltz) is an injectable medication that can treat a few inflammatory conditions, including:
- psoriatic arthritis
- ankylosing spondylitis
- non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis
It works by blocking the immune reactions that cause inflammation in your skin or joints.
Taltz is a liquid solution that gets injected under your skin. It comes in a pre-filled syringe or a pre-filled auto-injector.
An auto-injector is a device that you can use to inject a pre-loaded dose of medication under your skin by pressing a button. Auto-injectors are usually spring-loaded syringes.
If you’ve been prescribed Taltz for psoriasis, your doctor will likely give you your first dose in their office. Adults may then self-administer future doses at home.
Taking Taltz at home is a fairly simple process, but you should be familiar with a few instructions before you can inject the medication on your own. A doctor or nurse should also provide training to you or your caregiver before sending you home with your next doses.
Make sure to confirm with your doctor how often you need to take Taltz. Dosing of Taltz may vary depending on your age and diagnosis.
Adults with psoriasis will most likely have a single injection once every 2 weeks for 12 weeks, followed by an injection every 4 weeks.
You’ll need these supplies for your injection:
- one alcohol wipe
- one cotton ball or piece of gauze
- a sharps disposal container
Taltz should be stored in the refrigerator. It shouldn’t be frozen.
If necessary, you can store Taltz at room temperature for up to 5 days in the package it comes in. Once stored at room temperature, don’t return Taltz to the refrigerator.
Don’t attempt to self-inject until a doctor or nurse shows you how to use the auto-injector or syringe properly.
First, familiarize yourself with the auto-injector or pre-filled syringe, whichever you’ll be using, and their key components:
- The bottom of the Taltz auto-injector has a twist-off base, which connects to a clear base. This is the side where the needle comes out.
- The injection button is located at the top of the device.
- Beneath the injection button is a lock ring. The ring should remain in the locked position until just before injection.
- The bottom of the Taltz pre-filled syringe has a cap; the needle is located underneath this cap.
- The top of the syringe has a plunger rod with a thumb cap.
- The clear body of the syringe holds the medication.
After you gather supplies, you’ll need to examine the auto-injector or syringe to make sure it’s safe to inject. Follow these steps:
- Remove the package from the refrigerator and take one syringe or auto-injector out of the package. Return the original package along with the unused Taltz to the refrigerator.
- Place the syringe or auto-injector device on a flat surface without removing the base or needle cap. Allow it to warm up to room temperature for 30 minutes. Do not shake it.
- Make sure the expiration date on the solution hasn’t passed.
- Check that the liquid is clear or slightly yellow and is free from any particles. If the liquid is cloudy or contains any small particles, do not use it. It’s OK to see air bubbles.
- Make sure the auto-injector or syringe isn’t cracked or broken. Since the device contains glass parts, don’t use it if you accidentally drop it on a hard surface.
- Wash your hands with soap and water.
You can inject Taltz anywhere on the front of your thighs or stomach, except your belly button and the area that’s 1 inch around it.
A caregiver can also inject the medication into the back of your upper arm. Do not try to inject into the back of your arm yourself.
You can rotate the place of each injection to help reduce the chances of soreness and redness at the injection site.
Avoid skin that is red, swollen, bruised, tender, or scarred. Also, avoid parts of your skin affected by psoriasis.
Once you’ve chosen the injection site and washed your hands, there are a few steps to follow to safely give yourself the injection.
- Clean the injection site with an alcohol wipe or a cotton ball soaked in alcohol.
- Allow the skin to dry.
- Twist off the auto-injector cap and then throw it in the trash; you will no longer need the base cap.
- Place the clear base flat against your skin at the injection site at a 90-degree angle.
- While holding the base firmly against the skin, turn the lock ring at the top of the auto-injector so that it moves from the locked to the unlocked position.
- Push the green injection button. You’ll hear a loud click.
- Continue to hold the clear base firmly against your skin until you hear a second click after about 10 seconds. The second loud click lets you know that the injection is complete.
- Withdraw the auto-injector from your skin.
- Place a cotton ball or gauze over the injection site. A small amount of bleeding is OK.
- Dispose of the used auto-injector in a sharps container. Do not throw it in the trash.
Pre-filled syringe steps
- Clean the area with an alcohol wipe or a cotton ball soaked in alcohol.
- Let the injection site dry.
- Remove the needle cap and throw the base cap in the trash; you’ll no longer need the cap.
- Gently pinch a fold of skin at the injection site.
- While holding the fold of skin, insert the needle at a 45-degree angle.
- Let go of the fold of skin before you push the plunger.
- Slowly push the plunger with your thumb until all of the medication is injected; this should take about 10 to 15 seconds. Once complete, you should be able to see the green plunger rod through the syringe body.
- Place a cotton ball or gauze over the injection site. A small amount of bleeding is OK.
- Dispose of the used syringe in a sharps container. Do not throw it in the trash.
After receiving an injection of Taltz, you may have some soreness around the injection site. These reactions are common and usually mild. Applying a cold pack to the affected area may help.
Always call your doctor right away if you start having any concerning side effects, such as an allergic reaction. If you’re having serious side effects, such as trouble breathing, call 911 or your local emergency number.
You’ll need to abide by state or local laws to dispose of a sharps container once it’s full. For more information, visit the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s
The syringe is for one-time use only. Never reuse a syringe.
Needle-related anxiety may make it difficult to inject Taltz on your own.
If you have a fear of needles, try the following to ease the fear of self-injection:
- Apply ice to the injection site to prevent pain.
- Try not to hold your breath or take shallow breaths during the injection; take deep breaths to try to relax.
- Try not to overthink it. While you don’t want to rush the process, moving too slowly can worsen anxiety.
- Play music in the background while you administer the shot.
- Try to give yourself the injection in a stress-free and comfortable environment.
A caregiver, such as a family member or friend, can also undergo training to provide the injection if you’re unable to do it yourself. A caregiver can also offer support while you self-inject Taltz.
Over time, and with more practice, you’ll likely gain confidence in yourself and self-injection will get easier.
Though Taltz isn’t expected to interact with other drugs or supplements, be sure to tell your doctor or pharmacist about any medications, herbs, or vitamins you’re currently taking.
Some of these products may interfere with Taltz, or it’s possible that Taltz will interfere with some of these products.
You should avoid receiving live vaccines while you’re taking Taltz. This is because Taltz can weaken your immune system and leave you susceptible to infections.
Inactivated vaccines are safe to take while also taking Taltz, but they may not be as effective. This includes the COVID-19 vaccines. Still, talk with your doctor to find out what the best course of action is for you.
Call your doctor if you have more questions about how to use the Taltz auto-injector. The manufacturer of Taltz also has injection resources available under a program known as Taltz Together.
To access training options or over-the-phone training, call 844-TALTZ-NOW (844-825-8966) during business hours (8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Friday) to reach a registered nurse.
If you’ve been prescribed Taltz, a doctor or nurse can provide training on how to give yourself injections at home. Two devices are available for injecting Taltz: an auto-injector or a pre-filled syringe.
Make sure to discuss these options with your doctor. Most people prefer to use the auto-injector since it allows you to inject Taltz with the push of a button, without having to see the needle.
Before taking Taltz, make sure to read and understand how to store the medication and inspect the product. You may also want to familiarize yourself with the syringe or auto-injector and its components.
If you experience any serious side effects after taking Taltz, call your doctor right away.