What Is Dupixent (dupilumab)?

Dupixent is a human monoclonal antibody which is a type of biologic. 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

What is Dupixent?

Dupixent is an injectable prescription medication used to treat moderate to severe atopic dermatitis (AD) in adults and adolescent patients (ages 12-17) and children (ages 6+) whose disease is not well controlled with topical therapies or who cannot use those therapies. Dupixent can be used in combination with topical corticosteroids.4 The active ingredient in Dupixent is dupilumab.4

How does Dupixent work?

Dupixent is a human monoclonal antibody, a type of protein that is made to attach to a particular substance. Dupixent targets interleukin-4 (IL-4) and interleukin-13 (IL-13), two chemicals that are involved in the inflammatory response of the immune system. In people with AD, there is a dysfunction in the immune system, which results in an overactive, inflammatory state. By suppressing the inflammatory response, Dupixent may improve the symptoms of AD, including itching, redness, and rash.3,4

What are the possible side effects of Dupixent?

The most common side effects experienced by people taking Dupixent include injection site reactions, eye and eyelid inflammation (including redness, swelling, and itching), and cold sores on the mouth or lips. Rarely, Dupixent may cause serious side effects, such as allergic reactions, eye pain, or vision changes. Patients should stop using Dupixent and seek immediate medical care if they experience an allergic reaction including any of the following symptoms: fever, general ill feeling, swollen lymph nodes, hives, itching, joint pain, or skin rash.4 This is not a complete list of side effects, so consult with your doctor if you experience anything out of the norm while taking Dupixent.

Things to know about Dupixent

Dupixent comes in a pre-filled syringe or a pre-filled pen. After training by a healthcare professional, patients or their caregivers can administer the injections. Injections should be given into the thigh or abdomen, except for the two inches around the navel. If a caregiver is administering the injection, the upper arm can be used. Injection sites should be rotated with each injection. The injection should not be given on skin that is damaged, tender, bruised, or scarred.

If a severe allergic reaction occurs, the use of Dupixent should be discontinued immediately and medical attention should be given. Patients who also have asthma should not adjust or stop their asthma treatment without talking to their doctor. People who experience new or worsening eye problems should talk to their doctor about their symptoms. While taking Dupixent, patients should not receive live vaccines.4

For additional information on Dupixent, read the full prescribing information.

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Written by Emily Downward | Reviewed December 2020