Is weight gain a side effect of Taltz?
Medically reviewed by N. France, BPharm. Last updated on Jan 29, 2021.
Weight gain is not a known side effect of Taltz (ixekizumab), a humanized interleukin-17A antagonist used to treat adults and children with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis, as well as adults with active psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis with objective signs of inflammation.
Since its approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in March 2016, Taltz hasn’t been shown to cause weight gain. In addition, weight gain wasn’t identified as a side effect of concern during clinical development of this monoclonal antibody.
When it comes to weight, however, patients treated with Taltz are advised to keep an eye on any weight loss. Treatment with Taltz can lead to new or worsening symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which can include weight loss. Taltz also affects your immune system and its ability to fight infections, so patients treated with this monoclonal antibody are also reminded to keep an eye on any weight loss, which could be a sign of infection. This is especially true if the weight loss is accompanied by other common signs of infection, including fever, sweats, chills or muscle aches.
Why might people wonder about a link between body weight and Taltz?
Taltz is used to treat ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis with objective signs of inflammation and moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis, an immune-mediated inflammatory disease (IMID) of the skin. Studies have shown that obese people are at increased risk of developing psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. While patients will know that their psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are associated with inflammation, many people may not realize that obesity is too - a fact which helps explain the link between the conditions.
The link between obesity and psoriasis isn’t just applicable to adult patients either. Children with psoriasis were found to be much more likely to be overweight or obese in one international study.
While research indicates that being obese puts you at higher risk of developing psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, the relationship between the conditions isn’t just one way street. Patients with psoriasis tend to do less exercise, for example. Many patients with psoriasis report reducing or stopping physical activities and it is thought that this may be due to how people feel about their bodies. Psoriatic arthritis can also make it more difficult to exercise, as can flare-ups of ankylosing spondylitis.
Taltz safe and effective regardless of body weight
While body weight can impact how well some drug treatments work, researchers have found that treatment with Taltz is safe and effective regardless of a patient's body weight.
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Highlights of Prescribing Information. [Accessed June 11, 2020]. Available online at: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2020/125521s019lbl.pdf.
- Drugs.com. Taltz Approval History. April 22, 2020. [Accessed April 23, 2020]. Available online at: https://www.drugs.com/history/taltz.html.
- Kunz M, Simon JC, Saalbach A. Psoriasis: Obesity and Fatty Acids. Front Immunol. 2019; 10: 1807. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.01807.
- Gordon KB, Strober BE. Understanding Therapeutic Pathways and Comorbidities in Psoriasis. Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery, Vol. 33, No. 2S, March 2014. DOI: 10.12788/j.sder.0067.
- Davidovici BB, Sattar Naveed, Jorg PC, et al. Psoriasis and Systemic Inflammatory Diseases: Potential Mechanistic Links between Skin Disease and Co-Morbid Conditions. J Invest Dermatol. 2010 Jul;130(7):1785-96. doi: 10.1038/jid.2010.103.
- National Psoriasis Foundation. Related Conditions of Psoriasis. October 8, 2020. [Accessed January 29, 2021. Available online at: https://www.psoriasis.org/related-conditions/.
- Paller AS, Mercy K, Kwasny MJ, et al. Association of pediatric psoriasis severity with excess and central adiposity: an international cross-sectional study. JAMA Dermatol. 2013 Feb;149(2):166-76.
- Daien CI, Sellam J. Obesity and inflammatory arthritis: impact on occurrence, disease characteristics and therapeutic response. RMD Open. 2015; 1(1): e000012. doi: 10.1136/rmdopen-2014-000012.
- Zheng Q, Sun XY, Miao X, et al. Association between physical activity and risk of prevalent psoriasis. A MOOSE-compliant meta-analysis. Medicine (Baltimore). 2018 Jul; 97(27): e11394. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000011394.
- Reich K, Puig L, Mallbris L, et al. The effect of bodyweight on the efficacy and safety of ixekizumab: results from an integrated database of three randomised, controlled Phase 3 studies of patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2017 Jul;31(7):1196-1207. doi: 10.1111/jdv.14252.
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