Skyrizi (Risankizumab) is a biologic medicine that suppresses the immune system in order to treat psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis.
Skyrizi works by blocking a signalling protein called a cytokine named interleukin-23 (IL-23). This cytokine regulates the body’s immune system and is related to its inflammatory response.
Skyrizi is available as a pre-filled syringe that can be administered at home.
Although some patients who take Skyrizi can feel better quite quickly, in others it can take a little longer. It is important to keep taking this medicine as prescribed by a doctor.
Skyrizi comes in a pre-filled syringe for subcutaneous (under the skin) injection.
Patients starting Skyrizi will receive an injection on week 0, week 4, and then every 12 weeks after that.
The normal dose is 150 mg.
Watch our video to learn how inject Skyrizi at home:Learn how to inject subcutaneous injections with a pre filled syringe
Subcutaneous injections are easy to do compared to other types of injections. A small needle pokes just under the skin to deliver medicine into the “fatty tissue” below.
Important Tests and Risks
Skyrizi can make it a bit harder for people to fight off infections.
Patients taking this medicine should call their doctor they have a fever, think they have an infection, or have been prescribed antibiotics to treat an infection.
Patients should coordinate with their doctor to stop treatment before any surgery. It can be re-started once things have healed and there’s no sign of infection.
Patients should discuss all vaccinations with their doctor because some (live vaccines) are not advisable to get while taking Skyrizi.
It is important to get a TB (tuberculosis) skin test and a chest x-ray before starting Skyrizi.
It is important for patients who are taking Skyrizi to get occasional blood tests as requested by their doctor to keep an eye on blood counts and monitor their arthritis.
Skyrizi works by blocking a signalling protein, or cytokine, called interleukin-23 (IL-23).
IL-23 regulates the immune system and is related to the body’s inflammatory response.
Skyrizi is itself a type of protein known as a monoclonal antibody. It binds to IL-23, and in doing so, prevents it from binding to its receptors.
Immune system cells like T-cells, a type of white blood cell, rely on signals like IL-23 to become activated or “switched on”.
When IL-23 is tied up by Skyrizi, the messages that would normally fire up T-cells don’t get through as often, and the overall effect is suppression of the immune system.
While suppressing the immune system can make it slightly harder for patients to fight off infections, it also helps to stabilize an overactive immune system and treat the symptoms of arthritis and psoriasis.
The most common side effects of Skyrizi are upper respiratory tract infections (nasopharyngitis), headache, and fatigue.
Other possible side effects include:
- Injection site reaction – Skyrizi can rarely cause a reaction (redness, pain, & itching) at the injection site. Patients should tell their doctor if these are severe.
- Skin Infection – Skyrizi has been associated with the development of fungal skin infections including athlete’s foot, jock itch, or ringworm.
People that should NOT take Skyrizi include:
- Those with a fever or possible infection
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women
- Anyone who has had an allergic reaction to Skyrizi
Patients who are about to have surgery should discuss stopping Skyrizi with their doctor. The medication can be restarted once things have healed and there are no signs of infection.
People taking Skyrizi should call a doctor if they feel sick and want to stop, or if they are concerned about any side effects.
Other reasons for people taking Skyrizi to call a doctor include:
- Fever or possible infection
- Upcoming surgery
- Becoming pregnant or planning on pregnancy
- Planning any vaccinations
Anyone who becomes pregnant while taking Skyrizi should notify their doctor.Pregnancy and medications