Skyrizi (risankizumab) is a biologic medication used to treat different health conditions, including plaque psoriasis (severe to moderate), psoriatic arthritis, and Crohn’s disease.
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Plaque psoriasis is a skin condition where the skin cells grow faster than they normally should. Although the exact cause is unknown, it is likely due to an overactive immune system. External triggers such as stress and medications can also cause and worsen symptoms. This causes the buildup of skin cells on the surface of the skin. The leading sign of this skin condition is the appearance of red-colored patches covered with silver patches on the surface of the skin. The patches can be painful, red, and itchy.
How Does Skyrizi Work?
The body produces a protein known as IL-23 that causes inflammation in the body, resulting in plaques that appear on the skin’s surface. Skyrizi works by binding itself to excess IL-23 in the body to reduce inflammation.
As a result, the scaly patches on the skin surface get cleared gradually, and symptoms decrease.
Precautions Before Using Skyrizi
Skyrizi affects the immune system and impairs its ability to fight off infections. While on this drug, you will be more susceptible to infections your body would normally fight off. Therefore, once you see any signs or symptoms of infections, you should immediately reach out to your doctor.
Here are some of the conditions to discuss with your doctor before taking Skyrizi:
- If you have tuberculosis or have been in close proximity to someone with tuberculosis.
- If you just received a vaccine dose or are scheduled for a booster dose.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- If you are below the age of 18.
To ensure the most effective treatment, patients are advised to strictly follow the doctor’s orders when using Skyrizi or any other medication. Adults treating plaque psoriasis inject the medication subcutaneously using a prefilled syringe or pen. You can receive this medication through a specialized pharmacy like AmeriPharma.
Patients with Crohn’s disease receive the first or initial dose through the vein (intravenous injection) by a healthcare professional in a healthcare facility. After the first dose, the patient can continue with the follow-up doses through subcutaneous injections using a prefilled syringe or pen.
The dose of Skyrizi a patient receives is highly dependent on the conditions they are treating. For instance, adults treating plaque psoriasis should take 150 mg of the medication through subcutaneous injection at Week 0, Week 4, and every 12 weeks thereafter. The same dosage applies to adults treating psoriatic arthritis.
For Crohn’s disease, the induction dosage is 600 mg through intravenous injection over one hour at Week 0, Week 4, and Week 8. This should be followed by the maintenance dosage of 180 mg to 360 mg administered through subcutaneous injection at week 12 and every eight weeks thereafter.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. But if it is near the time for the next dose, skip the missed dose, as you must not take two doses at the same time or close to the same time. You should rotate injection sites and avoid injecting within two inches of your navel.
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Skyrizi Side Effects
Skyrizi treats a variety of conditions, so the side effects may vary from person to person. The most common side effects of Skyrizi include:
- Reactions at the injection site
- Fungal skin infection
- Cold symptoms
While all of these side effects are common, more severe side effects could arise from using Skyrizi. These severe side effects include:
- Any sign of an allergic reaction, such as hives, difficulty in breathing, and swellings in the lips, face, and throat
- Diarrhea and stomach pain
- Fever, sweating, chills, and body aches
- Symptoms of tuberculosis
- A severe fungal skin infection
- Weight loss
If you experience any of the signs listed above, you should contact your doctor immediately.
Patients using Skyrizi to treat Crohn’s disease risk having liver problems as an extreme side effect. Some of the signs of these liver problems include:
- Unexplained rash
- Dark urine
- Jaundice or yellowing of eyes and skin
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
If you have any of these conditions while treating Crohn’s disease with Skyrizi, you should reach out to the doctor, pharmacist, or any healthcare professional managing your condition.
The wholesale acquisition cost for a dose of Skyrizi is about $18,272.79 or more at some pharmacies. However, there are many factors that affect the price you pay, such as your location, insurance, healthcare plan, and pharmacy.
This information is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider about your medical condition prior to starting any new treatment. AmeriPharma Specialty Care assumes no liability whatsoever for the information provided or for any diagnosis or treatment made as a result, nor is it responsible for the reliability of the content.
AmeriPharma Specialty Care does not operate all the websites/organizations listed here, nor is it responsible for the availability or reliability of their content. These listings do not imply or constitute an endorsement, sponsorship, or recommendation by AmeriPharma Specialty Care.
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Dr. Christine Leduc, PharmD, was born and raised in Irvine, CA. She attended college at Midwestern University, where she graduated cum laude. The most rewarding part of her job is suggesting lifestyle changes, educating patients on how their medication works, and precepting future pharmacists. Her areas of expertise are customer service and knowledge of specialty medication. Having worked in the service industry in the past, she has gained the customer service skills necessary to understand the needs of her patients. Dr. Leduc is currently precepting students from Marshall B. Ketchum University, University of Kansas, and Midwestern University. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, baking, and gardening.