Dupixent or dupilumab is a biologic that is prescribed to help treat eczema. Biologics (biologic drugs) are targeted therapies that use human DNA to treat various diseases at the immune system level. They can be taken either subcutaneously, which is through the skin, or intravenously, which would be injected through the vein. In short, biologics are genetically engineered medications containing proteins that are derived from living tissues or cells cultured in a laboratory.
Normally, a protein called interleukin (IL) helps the immune system to fight off harmful bacteria and viruses. However, in cases where atopic dermatitis (eczema) is present, the immune system overreacts. This overreaction then triggers some ILs to respond by producing inflammation. It is this inflammation that causes the itchy, red patches on the skin that are so characteristic of eczema.
Biologics can help to block ILs from binding to the cell receptors, stopping the immune system from overreacting. This helps lower inflammation and therefore helps to reduce the symptoms of atopic dermatitis.
Dupixent (Dupilumab) for Eczema Treatments
Dupixent was the first biologic medication approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is approved for adults with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis for whom no other topical treatment has worked.
Dupixent works on the two interleukins that are believed to contribute the most types of eczema, which are IL-4 and IL-13.
Patients should remain on Dupixent to keep atopic dermatitis from returning as it is a chronic condition for which there is no permanent cure. The point of treatment, including Dupixent, is to make the condition manageable and the symptoms tolerable. Eczema will likely remain under control for the duration of being on Dupixent.
Dupixent is taken via a subcutaneous injection every other week after the initial loading dose.
The most common side effects include conjunctivitis (pink eye), injection site reactions, and cold sores on the mouth or lips.
Talk to your doctor or healthcare professional to determine if Dupixent is right for you.
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