Hands holding a biologic pen with thumbs up and thumbs down circling around it.

My Experience on Taltz

Taltz is not my first biologic on my journey to finding the right treatment. My first biologic was Cimzia, but my rheumatologist believed it stopped working right after my loading doses. So he introduced me to my next biologic Taltz (Ixekizumab). My rheumatologist recommended trying another biologic from another family. I remember leaving his office with no information about the drug and no explanations. Now I am sure for my following visits to be prepared with questions.

Taltz is an immunosuppressant that is supposed to help in reducing the effects of a chemical substance in your body that causes inflammation. It’s also approved for those suffering from plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Getting the medication approved was no problem. It was quick and easy. The nurse that was handling my file was so supportive from the company and so helpful.

Starting Taltz

November 2020 is when I started Taltz. I took my first 2 injections, my loading doses. Taltz works differently than Cimizia. Cimzia was every 2 weeks, but Taltz was one shot once a month. A month passed and right away I didn’t feel well. I felt worse. My body is so sensitive to lots of medications. I have a hard time finding the right medications or combinations that will give me the least side effects.

Unfortunately, this medication gave me the worst side effects of them all. I started getting really bad palpitations. My pains increased with no break. I had flares that lasted weeks. My legs felt so weak all the time. I had a hard time walking. I felt like I was carrying weights with me everywhere. I stopped doing my daily walks, to being back in bed all the time.

Pain and anxiety

The worst was, my rheumatologist, didn’t want to put me on any pain medications to give me some relief until the biologics had time to work. I had to go through everything alone, with no relief. On-going pain, that increased my anxiety. My anxiety was let loose and out of control. My symptoms continued with weight gain, severe headaches that increased more than usual, and nausea. It even made my IBS worse.

I decided to call my local pharmacy and spoke to the pharmacist. She explained that it could be side effects from the biologics, and if I didn’t feel any better soon to go to the ER. I hate going to hospitals. I try my best to avoid them, unless it’s really urgent. Instead, I decided to call and email my rheumatologist. He mentioned to me “it’s just anxiety you have." I was angry, as it brought memories back of other doctors disregarding me. I then went on Facebook, searched Taltz and joined a support group of other members taking the same medication. I started seeing I wasn’t the only one.

I felt so ill

My symptoms got worse. I finally decided to go to the ER. As I felt so ill with pain and my whole body felt bruised, like it got hit by a truck. I drove myself to the ER. I thought I would never make it. My husband was working and due to COVID, we had to go alone. As I got to the hospital, they checked everything from blood to monitoring my heart. The ER doctor walked in, mentioned everything looks normal. They said everything you're feeling is maybe medication-related and related to your disease.

The next day, I contacted my rheumatologist and explained everything again. How I didn’t feel well and felt worse on Taltz. He wanted to stop the biologic and not help give me anything else. But I explained how other members on the Facebook group I joined have tried several biologics until they found the right one. That's when he prescribed me my next biologic Humira.

Keep fighting

This experience has shown me you have to keep fighting. You have to keep fighting and believe that little voice in you, telling you there is something wrong. Don’t be afraid to speak up. I can’t say it enough. It is your body and you know it best. You know what is best for it. As you walk out of the doctor’s office, you only know what happens after you leave that office.

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