What Is Dupixent (dupilumab)?

Immunomodulators are a systemic treatment, meaning they work on the whole body and not just one particular area, like topical treatments. Immunomodulators suppress or interfere with the immune system response and may indirectly improve the function of the skin barrier and reduce the symptoms of AD, including itching, redness, and rash.1,2

What is Dupixent?

Dupixent is an injectable prescription medication used to treat moderate to severe atopic dermatitis (AD) in adult patients whose disease is not well controlled with topical therapies or who cannot use those therapies. Dupixent can be used in combination with topical corticosteroids.3 The active ingredient in Dupixent is dupilumab.3

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.2,3

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 changes in vision. 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.3

Things to know about Dupixent

Dupixent comes in a prefilled syringe. 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.3

Dosing

Dupixent is an injection that is given subcutaneously (under the skin). The recommended dose for adult patients is an initial dose of 600 mg (two 300 mg injections), followed by a 300 mg injection given every other week.

If a dose is missed, the patient should inject the dose within 7 days of the missed dose and resume the original schedule. If the missed dose is not given within 7 days, the patient can just wait until the next dose on the schedule.3

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

Emily Downward | June 2017
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