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12 August 2019

Ilumetri (Tildrakizumab) - Biologic Treatment Approved for Psoriasis in Scotland

The SMC approves Ilumetri (Tildrakizumab) for the treatment of psoriasis in adults in Scotland.

The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has today published its decision to recommend the biologic medicine Ilumetri (also known by its generic name, Tildrakizumab) as a treatment for adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in Scotland. This brings Scotland in line with England and Wales where the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) approved Ilumetri for the treatment of psoriasis in April 2019.

Ilumetri may be prescribed to adult patients who have not responded to conventional systemic therapies (including ciclosporin, methotrexate and phototherapy), or who cannot tolerate these treatments.

How does Ilumetri work?

Ilumetri blocks the activity of interleukin 23 (IL-23), a chemical ‘messenger’ in the immune system that signals other cells to cause inflammation. In people with psoriasis the immune system is overactive and creates too much inflammation, which leads to the development of psoriasis symptoms. Ilumetri is very precise and binds to a specific part of the IL-23 messenger, called p19. This then blocks IL-23 from sending out the inflammation signals and processes, preventing some of the inflammation from occurring and leading to an improvement in psoriasis for some people who take it.

How is Ilumetri used?

Ilumetri is taken as an injection under the skin via a pre-filled syringe. Most people will be trained by a nurse to give the injection to themselves. The second dose is taken four weeks after the first, but after that Ilumetri is usually taken every 12 weeks thereafter.

People taking Ilumetri will have regular blood tests every three to six months – usually carried out by Dermatology nurses, or by their own GP, to monitor for infections or other possible effects of the treatment. People taking Ilumetri are more at risk of infections and so should have an annual flu and pneumococcal vaccination.

However, not all vaccinations are safe in people taking Ilumetri and ‘live’ vaccinations should be avoided for four weeks before treatment, during treatment and for 12 months afterwards. Check with a doctor, nurse or pharmacist before having any vaccinations or taking other medication if you are not sure.

For more information on Ilumetri, have a read of our information sheet.