Dupixent® (dupilumab)

Dupixent (dupilumab) is a maintenance medication used in combination with other medicines to treat moderate-to-severe asthma. It is prescribed for people older than 6 years old whose asthma is not controlled with other asthma medications. Dupixent may help reduce the use of oral corticosteroids needed to control asthma. It is not to be used as a rescue inhaler to treat sudden breathing problems.1-3

In late 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Dupixent as an add-on maintenance therapy. It can be given in combination with other medications. It is the only biologic approved for two groups of people with uncontrolled asthma. It addresses the needs of those with the eosinophilic phenotype and with oral corticosteroid dependent asthma. Eosinophils are inflammatory cells that can contribute to the development of asthma.1,3

Dupixent has other indications for atopic dermatitis and chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyposis (CRSwNP). It is a monoclonal antibody designed for the treatment of allergic diseases including asthma and eczema. An anti-inflammatory, it is an Anti-IL-4/-13 drug.1,2

How does Dupixent work?

Dupixent works differently than other biologics. It inhibits the overactive signaling of interleukin-4 (IL-4) and interleukin-13 (IL-13), two key proteins that contribute to the inflammation that may cause moderate-to-severe asthma. This effect demonstrates a reduction of inflammatory biomarkers, including fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO), immunoglobulin E (IgE) and eotaxin-3 (CCL26).1,2

Dupixent may reduce severe exacerbations (flare-ups) and oral corticosteroid use. It improved patient quality of life and users enjoyed significant and clinically meaningful improvements in lung function, regardless of baseline eosinophil levels.1

What are the ingredients in Dupixent?

The active ingredient in Dupixent is dupilumab.

What are the possible side effects of Dupixent?

The most common side effects include injection site reactions, sore throat pain, and cold sores in the mouth or on the lips. Eye and eyelid inflammation, including redness, swelling, and itching have also occurred.1,2 These are not an exhaustive list of all potential side effects of Dupixent. Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist for further information.

If you experience breathing problems, fever, swollen lymph nodes, swelling of the face, mouth and tongue, hives, fainting or dizziness, have joint pain or a skin rash, stop taking Dupixent and seek medical help right away.

These are not all the possible side effects of Dupixent. Talk to your doctor about what to expect or if you experience any changes that concern you during treatment with Dupixent.

Things to know about Dupixent

Dupixent should not be used to relieve sudden breathing problems as a rescue inhaler. It should also not be used in those who have allergies to dupilumab or any ingredients in Dupixent.1,2

People who are prescribed Dupixent are eligible to participate in the MyWay program. This educational resource offers support by trained nurse educators and offers access to tools and information including injection training, prescription refills, and 24-hour nursing support.2,3

Before starting treatment with Dupixent, it is important to tell your healthcare provider about other medications, vitamins and supplements you are taking as well as any existing medical conditions, including but not limited to:1,2

  • Eye problems
  • Parasitic infections
  • Taking of oral, topical, or inhaled corticosteroid medicines
  • Need for vaccinations. You should not receive a live vaccine
  • Pregnancy or planning to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. It is not known if Dupixent may harm an unborn baby, or if it can pass into breast milk and harm your baby.

Dosing information

A biologic agent that is administered by subcutaneous (under the skin) injection, Dupixent comes in a single-dose pre-filled syringe with a needle shield. It is also available in a pre-filled pen device.

For more information, read the full prescribing information of Dupixent.

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Written by: Linda S. Minton | Last reviewed: October 2021.