Biologic medications or biologics are genetically designed using proteins extracted from living cells. Biologics are developed to target particular immune system reactions that result in chronic inflammatory conditions like atopic dermatitis (eczema).
Dupixent became the first FDA-approved biologic drug to treat moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis in adults. A dose of 300 mg is taken intravenously every two weeks. Dupixent is reserved for cases where patients suffer from severe eczema symptoms such as irritation, inflammation, and itching that do not improve with the use of standard topical treatments.
Essentially, if atopic dermatitis (eczema) symptoms cause so much discomfort that it begins to affect your everyday life such as your work and your ability to carry out simple daily tasks, it is considered to be a severe case.
It is of utmost importance to consult your doctor about the overall impact eczema has on your life in addition to its effect on your skin to receive the best possible treatment. In such severe cases, a biologic such as Dupixent (Dupilumab) may be your best option.
How Dupixent Works
Dupixent prevents a type of protein known as an interleukin (IL) from attaching to their cell receptors. Interleukins play an essential role in a healthy immune system by warding off infection and disease in the body. When the immune system malfunctions, it can prompt some interleukins to falsely attack the body, contributing to a chronic inflammatory condition like eczema.
Dupixent targets two primary interleukins believed to lead to eczema: IL-4 and IL-13. Dupixent stops the overreaction of the immune system that causes eczema symptoms by hindering these two interleukins from attaching to their receptors. A pacified immune system then results in fewer, less intense eczema symptoms. Based on the data from clinical trials, over 50% of individuals with atopic dermatitis who were on Dupixent for 16 weeks saw about a 75% improvement in their symptoms.
Dupixent is not available in the form of a topical ointment or pills and can only be taken via injections. Also, due to the chronic (lifelong) nature of eczema, patients must continue their use of Dupixent to control their atopic dermatitis symptoms in the long run. The most common side effects associated with Dupixent include pink eye, reactions on injection spots, and cold sores in the mouth or around the lips.
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