Many psoriatic arthritis patients constantly deal with painful symptoms such as stiff and swollen joints, back and shoulder pain, chest pain, fatigue, and much more. However, after a study funded by Eli Lilly & Co. there may be a new prescription drug that can reduce that pain.
Ixekizumab (Taltz) appears beneficial in reducing the pain and disability of psoriatic arthritis, according to research published online May 24 in The Lancet.
Mark Genovese, M.D., a professor of immunology and rheumatology at the Stanford University Medical Center in California, and colleagues focused on more than 363 adult patients with psoriatic arthritis across 10 countries who were no longer seeing an effect from standard biologic drugs or had never experienced a benefit.
Patients were randomly assigned to receive injections of either ixekizumab or an inactive placebo. Over six months, about one-third received ixekizumab injections every two weeks, another third received the placebo every two weeks, while the remaining third received alternate injections of ixekizumab and the placebo.
The researchers found that more than half (53 percent) of those treated with ixekizumab experienced at least a 20 percent reduction in the number of tender and swollen joints, compared to 19.5 percent of those receiving the placebo.
There was little difference in heightened vulnerability to infectious disease between patients taking ixekizumab and those on a placebo (infections reported in 39 percent of patients with ixekizumab every four weeks; 38 percent with ixekizumab every two weeks, and 30 percent with placebo).
“Both the two-week and four-week ixekizumab dosing regimens improved the signs and symptoms of patients with active psoriatic arthritis and who had previously inadequate response to tumor necrosis factor inhibitors, with a safety profile consistent with previous studies investigating ixekizumab,” the authors conclude.