How Dupixent Changed My Life
I’ve suffered from eczema since I was four months old. So when I learned about a life-changing medication named Dupixent, I knew that I had to hear more.
The first time I heard about Dupixent was from my friend TJ. Like me, TJ is also a life-long eczema patient. Prior to starting the medication he had tried everything from topical steroids to UV light therapy with little to no results. Since he was constantly raving about Dupixent I decided to investigate it further on my own. Part of the research process led me to a National Eczema Association conference where they reviewed how promising of a drug Dupixent was proving to be. After weighing the risks and the rewards, I decided it was finally time to discuss this treatment with my dermatologist.
The authorization process
Up until that point, I had experienced countless staph infections, debilitating flares, sleepless nights and many episodes of depression and anxiety. I was completely jaded with my quality of life so I was eager to start Dupixent and hit the ground running. When I began the authorization process I had a lot of intense thoughts going through my mind. I experienced emotions ranging from excitement to fear. “Will I finally find relief for my skin? Or would the medication fail?” Once the paperwork was completed it was time to wait for approval.
Several weeks went by before I received a response. I had been denied. The reasoning behind the decision was that I had not “used” a particular medication for a pre-determined amount of time. The truth is I had already taken the drug in question for years as a child with minimal positive results. Unfortunately, that wasn’t good enough for the insurance company. Needless to say I was pretty distraught but I didn’t quit. My doctor and I decided to appeal the decision. To ensure a favorable outcome, I started the medication again, wrote a personal letter to the committee, and submitted pictures of my inflamed skin.
After several more nerve-racking weeks I received another letter in the mail. This time the medication had been approved! A good portion of my anxiety disappeared, but I knew that approval was half the battle. I still had to take Dupixent to see if it would actually improve my skin. With optimism, I filled my first prescription and scheduled an appointment with my dermatologist for the inaugural injection.
The moment of truth
Little did I know, but April 5, 2018 would prove to be one of the most transformative days of my life. Upon arriving at my appointment I couldn’t help but feel anxious. As I sat in the waiting room more questions filled my head. “What am I getting myself into? What will the side effects be like? Will this medication work?” Next thing I know, I’m called into a room with my cooler of Dupixent.
The first injection
After a brief discussion, the PA administered the first dose into my stomach and then informed me it was my turn to attempt an injection. I vividly remember standing there with my shirt pulled up rambling on and stalling. Pop! I poked the needle into my abdomen, injected the medication, and I was done. I went home with a new found enthusiasm and waited to see what would happen.
Results may vary
That evening I went to bed not knowing what to expect. TJ mentioned that I might see results within the first week of treatment. The next morning, I woke up and couldn’t believe what I was experiencing… full rest! For the first time in recent memory, I actually slept through the entire night. I didn’t constantly wake up to scratch or to adjust my sleeping position. As the weeks went on the results became more and more visible.
I’ve now been on Dupixent for seven months. My skin isn’t eczema free but it is the most clear it has been in my entire existence. Honestly, I don’t know what I’d do without this medication. My quality of life has improved drastically and I actually feel like a normal person. The fall and winter tend to be the most favorable towards my skin so I’m looking forward to the possibility of further improvement.
Talk to your doctor
Dupixent may not be for everyone but if your dermatologist is willing to prescribe it, I highly recommend giving it a shot. I can’t guarantee you results but at least you’ll be happy that you tried. Who knows? Maybe Dupixent will change your life as much as it did for mine.
Have you been diagnosed with atopic dermatitis?