Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition resulting in chronic inflammation of the skin affecting roughly 1 million Canadians. Mild to moderate cases of psoriasis may be managed through topical treatments (e.g. creams, ointments, gels, foams) like corticosteroids, Vitamin D3 analogues, retinoids, or a combination of these agents. However moderate to severe cases of psoriasis often need to be managed with biologic therapies.
Biologic therapies can vary in targeting and removing different chemical signalling molecules from the inflammation-causing process, resulting in better psoriasis control. One such signalling molecule that seems to be an important target in achieving remission of psoriasis is Interleukin-23 (IL-23). Until May 2021, there were only three biologic agents on the Canadian market that reduced IL-23 function as listed below:
- Ustekinumab (Stelara© – blocks Interleukin-23 and Interleukin-12 activity)
- Guselkumab (Tremfya© – blocks Interleukin-23 activity)
- Risankizumab (Skyrizi© – blocks Interleukin-23 activity)
However, since May 2021, an additional IL-23 inhibitor has been approved in Canada for treating patients suffering from moderate to severe psoriasis. Tildrakizumab (Ilumya©) now serves as an additional treatment option for these patients. Currently, Ilumya© has only been approved for use in adults as Health Canada has not received any safety or effectiveness data for use in children or adolescents (<18 years of age).
As pharmacists specializing in autoimmune conditions, we are excited to have Ilumya© as a part of our treatment tool chest to best help our patients accomplish their goals.
Kunal Bhatt, RPh, PharmD, HBSc is a staff pharmacist for Charlton Health. As a 2020 PharmD graduate from the University of Toronto, Kunal possesses a diverse range of experiences from working in hospital and community pharmacy settings. Since January 2021, Kunal was heavily invested in contributing to the efforts against COVID-19 by administering upwards of 5000 COVID-19 vaccines at William Osler Health System’s vaccination clinics.