Concerns About Being Allergic To Skyrizi
In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses concerns about a potential allergy to Skyrizi.
My husband has been prescribed Skyrizi. One caution states not to take it if allergic. How can he determine if he's allergic? Also, what non-human species are used in the formulation of the medicine? Thank you!
Last updated Sep 20, 2023
- Allergies to Skyrizi are uncommon, but it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction so medical attention can be sought as needed.
- The active ingredient in Skyrizi (risankizumab-rzaa) is produced using recombinant DNA technology in Chinese hamster ovary cells.
Although the listed ingredients in Skyrizi aren't known to be common allergens, it's essential to remain vigilant in regard to symptoms that could signal an allergic reaction.
If you experience symptoms like fainting, swelling, or trouble breathing, seek emergency medical help immediately.
I understand your concern, and it's great that you're being proactive about your husband's health.
Allergic reactions can indeed be tricky to predict, and it's always better to err on the side of caution, especially when starting a new medication like Skyrizi.
Firstly, your husband should definitely pay close attention to any signs of an allergic reaction. The prescribing information for Skyrizi mentions some key symptoms to watch out for, such as:
- Feeling faint or dizzy
- Experiencing low blood pressure
- Swelling of the face, eyelids, lips, mouth, tongue, or throat
- Having trouble breathing or a feeling of throat tightness
If he notices any of the above symptoms, it's crucial to seek immediate medical help.
Now, regarding the ingredients in Skyrizi, it's good to know what's in the medication. The main active ingredient is risankizumab-rzaa, which is a monoclonal antibody designed to target interleukin-23 (IL-23), an immune system protein. This component is produced using recombinant DNA technology in Chinese hamster ovary cells.
The other components of Skyrizi, listed as inactive ingredients, include:
- Glacial acetic acid
- Polysorbate 20
- Sodium acetate
- Water for Injection
When speaking specifically about Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells, some individuals may have allergies or sensitivities to them. These cells are very commonly used in biotechnology for producing therapeutic proteins, including in the manufacture of certain biologic drugs such as monoclonal antibodies. In fact, studies suggest that around 80% of monoclonal antibody drugs are produced using CHO cells.
However, it's essential to note that an allergy to CHO cells would be quite rare and specific to individuals who may have a hypersensitivity to proteins or other components derived from these cells. Again, it would be exceptionally difficult to predict who may have an allergy to these types of cells.
Additionally, it's important to note that the inactive ingredients in Skyrizi aren't common allergens either.
Nevertheless, it's still essential to be vigilant and aware of what an allergic reaction may look like. Allergic reactions can sometimes surprise us, and everyone's body reacts differently.
It's always possible to develop an allergy to something seemingly innocuous. If there's a history of severe allergies in your husband's medical background or if he's particularly sensitive, it's even more crucial to keep a close eye on how his body responds to the medication. Remember, if you have any concerns or if you notice anything unusual, don't hesitate to contact your doctor.
I hope you found this helpful! Be sure to reach back out again if anything else comes up!
- Dr. Brian Staiger, PharmD
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