Biologics for Atopic Dermatitis
You may have heard about some of the medications that are available to treat atopic dermatitis but may be wondering what makes them all different? This article will explain biologic agents, how they work, and how patients respond to them.
What are biologic drugs?
Biologic agents are medications that are targeted to treat diseases at the immune level.1 Biological agents work to block cellular pathways in your immune system that can lead to disease flares. When used for atopic dermatitis, these agents target cells in your body that cause inflammatory reactions by blocking specific proteins in your system called cytokines.1
How do biologics treat atopic dermatitis?
The currently approved biological agent for atopic dermatitis works by blocking the cytokines known as Interleukin-4 (IL-4) and Interleukin-13 (IL-13). IL-4 and IL-13 create inflammation in the body by triggering white blood cells known as eosinophils and by stimulating your immune system to make antibodies known as immunoglobulin E (IgE).2 Both eosinophils and IgE indicate to your body that you are allergic to something, even if you are not actually having an allergic reaction. Biological agents stop this inflammation process before it even starts.