Risankizumab (Skyrizi)


Risankizumab is a biologic medication used to treat active psoriatic arthritis and moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. The medication targets the protein interleukin 23A which is involved with inflammation that is linked to these conditions.

How to Take It

Risankizumab is given as a self-administered injection under the skin. The medicine can be injected into the thigh or abdomen. The site of injection should be rotated so the same site is not used multiple times. Risankizumab comes in pre-filled syringes and prefilled pen injectors. The adult dose is 150 mg in psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, which can be given as one prefilled 150 mg syringe or pen. After the first dose, another injection is given 4 weeks later followed by one dose every 12 weeks. Some patients will start to have improvement within a few weeks, but it may take several months to take full effect.

Side Effects

Risankizumab may lower your immune system and the ability to fight infections. Before starting risankizumab all patients should be tested for tuberculosis and obtain all age-appropriate vaccinations. Risankizumab may cause headaches or tiredness and rare candida (yeast) infections. Serious allergic reactions are very rare, but skin reactions at the site of the injection may occur.

Before starting this medication talk with your physician about getting appropriate vaccinations. You should also tell your provider if you are pregnant, planning to get pregnant, or are breastfeeding. In general, patients who may become pregnant should use effective contraception while using biologic therapy. Risankizumab has not been studied in pregnancy and breastfeeding. If you develop symptoms of an infection, hold the medication and contact your rheumatologist. If you are planning to have surgery or get any live vaccinations, talk to your rheumatology provider first. These include, nasal spray flu vaccine, and others such as the measles, mumps, rubella, and yellow fever vaccines.

Written March 2023 by Kristen Lee, MD, and reviewed by the American College of Rheumatology Committee on Communications and Marketing.

This information is provided for general education only. Individuals should consult a qualified health care provider for professional medical advice, diagnosis and treatment of a medical or health condition.

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