In a previous newsletter we discussed the new biologic drug Dupixent (Dupilumab) as a true “Godsend” for severe eczema. By way of reminder, it is a monoclonal antibody that blocks the interleukin-4 receptor, and thereby prevents the inflammation that causes eczema. This medicine has proven to be both safe and effective, and the injections can be done at home.
Because interleukin-4 also plays a big role in asthmatic inflammation, researchers at Washington University have studied its benefits in severe steroid-dependent asthmatics. Their study showed it to be both safe and effective for this disease also.
Dupixent use saw a 70% decrease in need for systemic steroids, and 59% fewer asthmatic attacks.
If other scientists confirm these finding it might allow the FDA to approve Dupixent for asthma therapy. At present the monoclonal antibodies for severe asthma (Xolair, Fasenra, Cinqair and Nucala) work very well, but must be administered in a doctor’s office. Dupixent may offer an at-home alternative.
The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has just recently approved the drug Dupixent for treating atopic dermatitis (eczema). It is a human monoclonal antibody (dupilumab) that targets two inflammatory molecules – IL-4 and IL-13 – the main driving forces for the rash and itch that characterize eczema. This drug is intended for people with moderate-to-severe eczema that is not otherwise controlled by antihistamines or topical steroids.
The medicine is administered by subcutaneous injection from a pre-filled syringe. The current recommendation is that initial therapy be done in a doctor’s office, but once safety is established, it can be done at home.
The main side effects reported by the FDA are local injection site reactions, conjunctivitis and eye dryness and activation of oral herpes. Very rarely allergic reactions occurred.
So far, it is only approved for non-pregnant adults. The drug trials demonstrated fairly dramatic results with 40% of participants having complete clearing of their rash within 16 weeks.
Nemolizumab is an investigational monoclonal antibody that is showing real promise in treating moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis (eczema). It inactivates Interleukin 31 (an inflammatory molecule associated with the often-intense itch of eczema).