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How fast does Dupixent work?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on July 6, 2020.

Official Answer

by Drugs.com

Key Points

  • For eczema in adults and adolescents, Dupixent (generic name: dupilumab) can start to work as quickly as 2 to 4 weeks to relieve itching and in 16 weeks for a clear or almost clear skin improvement.
  • In children 6 to 11 years old using Dupixent or placebo plus a topical corticosteroid for severe eczema, studies at 16 weeks show that 4.5 times more children using Dupixent had reduced itching. In addition, twice as many children on Dupixent saw clear or almost clear skin improvements.
  • In asthma, for patients 12 years and older, patients saw an improvement in lung function in about 2 weeks and it was significant at week 12 and sustained through 52 weeks.
  • Adults patients with uncontrolled chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps had an improved ability to smell in as little as 2 weeks. In addition, over 80% fewer patients required nasal polyp surgery in 24-week and 52-week clinical trials.

Dupixent (dupilumab) is approved for use in adults and children at least 6 years of age for treatment of moderate-to-severe eczema (atopic dermatitis) when other topical therapies (used on the skin) are not effective. For eczema, Dupixent can be used with or without topical corticosteroids.

Dupixent is also used as an add-on maintenance treatment in patients 12 years of age and older with moderate-to-severe asthma with high levels of white blood cells known as eosinophils or with oral corticosteroid-dependent asthma. Dupixent is not used to treat an asthma attack. Use a rescue inhaler such as albuterol.

Dupixent is approved as an add-on maintenance treatment for adults with nasal polyps (growths on the sinuses) accompanied by chronic rhinosinusitis (sinus and nasal cavity swelling).

The manufacturer reports that it takes 16 weeks of treatment with Dupixent to reach steady state levels. Steady state is the time during which the concentration of the drug in the body stays consistent. In other words, steady state is when the rate of the drug going into your body is equal to the rate of drug elimination.

Does Dupixent contain steroids?

Dupixent is a steroid-free, injectable biologic drug and an interleukin-4 (IL-4) receptor alpha antagonist from Regeneron. It was first approved in March 2017. Dupixent lowers inflammation (swelling) that can lead to symptoms in eczema, asthma or nasal polyps with chronic rhinosinusitis.

Eczema Studies with Dupixent

Eczema (atopic dermatitis) studies were conducted for 16 weeks in children, teens and adults with moderate or severe eczema (atopic dermatitis). These studies looked at skin improvement and reduction in itching.

Adults

In clinical trials in over 2,100 adults with uncontrolled moderate-to-severe eczema (atopic dermatitis), clearer skin was seen in 16 weeks of treatment with Dupixent.

  • Clear or almost clear skin was reported in 37% of patients taking Dupixent compared to 9% of those not using the drug, a four-fold increase. Nearly half of adult patients (48%) saw a 75% skin improvement, and some saw a 90% improvement, compared to those not using Dupixent (13%).
  • Itch reduction with Dupixent occurred rapidly, as early as 2 weeks, and was sustained. Close to 4 times more adults also had a significant reduction in itching when using Dupixent compared to those not using the drug.
  • Also, in a 52-week study, 13% of patients receiving Dupixent who did not respond at week 16 were reported to have responded by week 52. Itch reduction has been shown to last through one year, as well.

Teens

For teens 12 to 17 years of age with moderate-to-severe eczema not adequately controlled with topical prescription treatments, significant results were seen 16 weeks after starting treatment.

  • Roughly twelve times as many teens saw clearer skin (24% vs. 2%) when compared to teens not receiving Dupixent.
  • Nearly half of teen patients (42%) saw a 75% skin improvement, with some seeing a 90% improvement (23%), compared to those not using Dupixent (8% and 2% improvement, respectively).
  • Seven times more teens (37%) had significant itch relief compared to 5% of those not taking Dupixent. Itching releif started as soon as 4 weeks in some teens.

Children

In children 6 to 11 years old using Dupixent plus a topical corticosteroid (TCS) for severe eczema, who received either the 200 mg or 300 mg dose, over twice as many children saw clear or almost clear skin at 16 weeks when compared to those using a topical corticosteroid only.

  • 30% taking 300 mg dose, every 4 weeks vs 13% on TCS only
  • 39% taking 200 mg dose, every 2 weeks vs 10% on TCS only.

Itching was reduced in about 4.5 times as many children using Dupixent when compared to the group only using topical corticosteroids at 16 weeks.

  • 54% taking 300 mg dose, every 4 weeks vs 12% on TCS only
  • 61% taking 200 mg dose, every 2 weeks vs 13% on TCS only

Asthma Studies with Dupixent

In asthma, for patients 12 years and older, an improvement in lung function was seen in about 2 weeks, was significant at week 12 and was sustained through 52 weeks.

Also, severe breathing exacerbations were reduced by up to 81%. About 86% of people reduced or eliminated their oral steroid dose.

For asthma patients, it’s important to remember that Dupixent is used as a long-term maintenance treatment. It is not used for the relief of acute asthma symptoms or worsening disease. Use your fast-acting inhaler, such as albuterol, for relief of sudden symptoms.

Chronic rhinosinusitis / nasal polyp studies with Dupixent

For adults patients with uncontrolled chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyposis, 83% fewer patients required nasal polyp surgery. Results in studies were assessed at 24 and 52 weeks.

Patients also had an improved ability to smell in as little as 2 weeks, a reduction in nasal congestion by as much as 50%, and 75% of patients saw a reduction in steroid use.

Bottom Line

  • In adults and adolescents, Dupixent (generic name: dupilumab) can start to work as quickly as 2 to 4 weeks to relieve itching due to eczema lead to a clear or almost clear skin improvement in 16 weeks.
  • Asthma improvements in patients 12 years and older may begin as quickly as week 2 after starting treatment, and will continue to improve through 12 weeks and up to one year.
  • For adults patients with uncontrolled chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps, patients may begin to see an improved ability to smell in as little as 2 weeks.

This is not all the information you need to know about Dupixent for safe and effective use. Results among patients are variable and your results may be different. Review the full Dupixent information here, and discuss this information with your doctor or other health care provider.

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