It’s a prescription drug that’s used to treat the following conditions:
- Moderate to severe atopic dermatitis (eczema). For this condition, Dupixent is used in adults and some children when topical prescription drugs aren’t working well. (Medicated skin creams are examples of topical treatments.) Dupixent can also be tried when medicated skin creams can’t be used.
- Certain forms of moderate to severe asthma. For this condition, Dupixent is used as an add-on treatment to help prevent asthma symptoms in adults and some children. As an add-on treatment, it’s used together with one or more other medications. It’s important to know that Dupixent should not be used to treat a sudden asthma attack. In that case, a rescue inhaler should be used if needed.
- Chronic sinusitis (long-term swelling in your sinuses) with nasal polyps. (Nasal polyps are tissue growths that can make it difficult to breathe through your nose.) For this condition, Dupixent is used as an add-on treatment for adults whose symptoms are not well managed.
For more details about these conditions and how Dupixent is used, see the “What is Dupixent used for?” section below.
Dupixent contains the active ingredient dupilumab, which is a biologic medication. (A biologic is made from parts of living organisms.)
Dupilumab is available only as the brand-name drug Dupixent. It isn’t available in a biosimilar form. (Biosimilars are like generic drugs. But unlike generics, which are made for nonbiologic drugs, biosimilars are made for biologic drugs.)
Dupixent comes in prefilled syringes that contain a single dose. It’s given as an injection under your skin.
You can receive Dupixent injections at your healthcare professional’s office. Or, after you learn how to do so, you may give Dupixent injections to yourself.
Keep reading to learn about Dupixent’s side effects, uses, FAQs, and more.
Like most drugs, Dupixent may cause mild or serious side effects. The lists below describe some of the more common side effects that Dupixent may cause. These lists don’t include all possible side effects.
The common side effects of Dupixent can vary with the condition it’s treating. Also, keep in mind that side effects of a drug can depend on:
- your age
- other health conditions you have
- other medications you may be taking
Some side effects of Dupixent may continue for as long as you’re receiving the drug. But no long-term side effects are known to affect people after they’ve stopped taking it.
If you have questions about side effects of Dupixent, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Mild side effects
Here’s a list of some of the mild side effects that Dupixent can cause. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or read Dupixent’s patient information.
Mild side effects of Dupixent that have been reported include:
- injection site reactions
- sore throat
- cold sores due to herpes virus*
- eye problems, such as conjunctivitis (pink eye)*
- trouble sleeping
- joint pain*
- tooth pain
- gastritis (swelling in your stomach)
- eosinophilia (increased level of eosinophils, which are a type of white blood cell)
- face rash
Mild side effects of many drugs may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. But if they become bothersome, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They may suggest ways to help reduce side effects.
* For more information on this side effect, see the “Side effect focus” section below.
Serious side effects
Serious side effects from Dupixent can occur, but they aren’t common. If you have serious side effects from Dupixent, call your doctor right away. However, if you think you’re having a medical emergency, you should call 911 or your local emergency number.
Serious side effects of Dupixent that have been reported include:
- vasculitis (swelling in your blood vessels), which is a rare but serious problem that can happen if you have asthma and stop or decrease use of steroid medications
- eye problems, such as a corneal ulcer*
- allergic reaction*
* For more information on this side effect, see the “Side effect focus” section below.
Side effect focus
Learn more about some of the side effects Dupixent may cause.
Joint pain is a possible side effect of Dupixent, but it doesn’t occur in everyone who takes the drug.
Side effects of Dupixent, such as joint pain, may differ between people with different conditions. For instance, joint pain was a common side effect in studies of people who took Dupixent for chronic sinusitis (long-term sinus swelling) with nasal polyps. (Polyps are tissue growths that can make it difficult to breathe through your nose.)
Joints are places in your body where your bones meet, such as your elbows, hips, and knees. Joint pain may feel like an ache or soreness that may get worse when you move around.
What might help
Joint pain from Dupixent may be relieved without medical treatment.
Here are some tips that you can do at home to help ease joint pain:
- Stretch daily and before exercise to help maintain a healthy range of motion in your joints.
- Stay physically active to help keep your joints strong.
- Listen to your body and rest your joints when needed if they’re painful.
- Consider an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever. Some examples include acetaminophen (Tylenol) or a topical product that’s applied to the skin, such as diclofenac (Voltaren) gel. If you’re unsure if OTC pain relievers are safe for you, check with your doctor or pharmacist.
If your joint pain is not relieved with these tips, or it becomes severe, call your doctor. They might want to examine you for other causes of joint pain. Or they may suggest other ways to lessen the pain.
Some mild and serious eye problems have happened in people receiving Dupixent.
Conjunctivitis (pink eye) is a common side effect in people taking the drug for eczema. Though less common, this side effect is also seen in people receiving Dupixent for chronic sinusitis with nasal polyps. Conjunctivitis hasn’t been reported as a side effect in people taking the drug for asthma.
Conjunctivitis symptoms may include swelling, itching, and reddening of your eye and eyelid.
Serious eye problems, such as corneal ulcers, are also possible with Dupixent. Symptoms of this condition include eye pain, blurred vision, and sensitivity to light. If you develop these symptoms, it’s important to seek medical care right away.
It’s also possible that Dupixent could cause eye pain or cause problems with your vision. If you’re concerned about eye or vision problems with this medication, talk with your doctor.
What might help
Eye itching or irritation due to conjunctivitis can be bothersome, but it’s usually not serious. You may find relief with just a cool compress. You could also try over-the-counter eye itch relief drops, such as ketotifen (Alaway, Xaditor).
If you develop eye crusting or colored mucus, or a fever, it could be a sign of an eye infection. If this happens, or your eye symptoms become severe, call your doctor. They may recommend treatment with a prescription eye drop or medication.
If you notice vision changes or develop eye pain, you should not wait to see if it gets better on its own. To be safe, call your doctor. They can suggest next steps to help manage your eye problems.
Cold sores due to herpes virus
Dupixent does not cause infections with herpes virus. But if the virus is already inside your body, Dupixent may increase your risk for cold sores (oral herpes). Cold sores are a common side effect in people taking this drug.
Cold sores may appear on your lips or mouth. They’re small, blister-like lesions that are commonly caused by the herpes virus. People sometimes notice an itch or tingling sensation in their lips or mouth before a cold sore appears.
What might help
Without treatment, cold sores usually go away on their own within 1 to 2 weeks.
Some over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription (Rx) treatments can help cold sores heal faster. Examples of these treatments include:
- Abreva (OTC)
- Denavir (Rx)
- Valtrex (Rx)
If you’re concerned about cold sores with Dupixent, especially if you’re prone to getting them, talk with your doctor. They can recommend the best treatment plan to have in place. This way, you’ll know what to do at the first sign of a cold sore.
Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:
- skin rash
- flushing (temporary warmth, redness, or deepening of skin color)
A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet. They can also include swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat, which can cause trouble breathing.
Some people who had allergic reactions during studies of Dupixent developed the following symptoms:
- hives (raised, itchy bumps on your skin)
- erythema nodosum (reddish or discolored, painful lumps under your skin, usually on your lower legs)
- serum sickness (an immune system reaction that causes fever, rash, and joint pain or swelling)
Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to Dupixent. But if you think you’re having a medical emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number.
Your doctor will explain how Dupixent should be taken. They’ll also explain how much to take and how often. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions. Below are commonly used dosages, but always take the dosage your doctor prescribes.
Dupixent comes as a liquid solution in prefilled syringes. Each syringe contains a single dose.
You’ll receive Dupixent as an injection under your skin.
You can receive Dupixent injections at your healthcare professional’s office. Or, after your healthcare professional shows you how to do so, you can give the injection to yourself.
You can view step-by-step injection instructions for Dupixent injections on the manufacturer’s website.
Dupixent injection sites
For each Dupixent injection, you can choose one of the following injection sites:
- belly, but not within 2 inches of your belly button
- outer upper arm, but only if a caregiver gives the injection to you
When you choose your injection site, avoid areas of skin that are painful, bruised, or scarred. Also, it’s best to choose a different site each time you inject Dupixent.
For certain uses of Dupixent, you’ll start with a loading dose. For a loading dose, a medication is started at a higher dose than the doses that follow. Loading doses get more of the drug into your body to help relieve your symptoms faster.
Dupixent’s loading dose is usually given at your doctor’s office. It includes two injections in two different areas of your body.
Your dosing schedule for Dupixent will be based on the condition it’s being used to treat and your age. For instance:
- In adults, the dosage for atopic dermatitis (eczema) is a loading dose of Dupixent, followed by one dose every other week.
- In adults, the dosage for asthma is a loading dose of Dupixent, followed by one dose every other week.
- In adults, the dosage for chronic sinusitis is one dose of Dupixent every other week. There isn’t a loading dose recommended for this condition.
- In children, pediatric dosages are as follows:
- Children ages 6 years and older with eczema receive a loading dose of Dupixent, followed by one dose every 4 weeks.
- Children ages 12 years and older with asthma receive a loading dose of Dupixent, followed by one dose every other week.
Taking Dupixent with other drugs
It’s common for doctors to prescribe Dupixent along with other types of drugs.
Some examples of other kinds of drugs that you may take with Dupixent include:
- topical corticosteroids, for atopic dermatitis (eczema) treatment
- inhaled corticosteroids or rescue inhalers, for asthma treatment
- nasal corticosteroids or nasal decongestants, for chronic sinusitis treatment
If you have questions about taking other drugs with Dupixent, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Questions about taking Dupixent
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about taking Dupixent.
- What if I miss a dose of Dupixent? If you miss your dose of Dupixent, inject the dose within 7 days of missing it. But if you miss your dose by more than 7 days, skip the missed dose. Then, wait until it’s time to take your next scheduled dose of Dupixent.
- Will I need to use Dupixent long term? Dupixent is meant to be used long term. If you and your doctor decide that Dupixent is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term.
- Should I take Dupixent with food? Since you’ll inject Dupixent under your skin, when you eat does not affect how the drug works in your body.
- How long does Dupixent take to work? Dupixent begins to work in your body after the first injection. But it may be a few weeks to months before you notice symptom relief.
- What should I know about storing Dupixent? How long can it stay out of the refrigerator? You should keep Dupixent in the refrigerator at a temperature of 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C). After you take Dupixent out of the refrigerator, it can be kept at room temperature (up to 77°F or 25°C) for up to 14 days. After that, it must be discarded. Be sure to keep Dupixent in its original carton to protect the drug from light.
- How do you stop taking Dupixent? If you and your doctor decide that you’ll end Dupixent treatment, you simply won’t inject any further doses. There are no special instructions for stopping Dupixent.
Questions for your doctor
You may have questions about Dupixent and your treatment plan. It’s important to discuss all your concerns with your doctor.
Here are a few tips that might help guide your discussion:
- Before your appointment, write down questions such as:
- How will Dupixent affect my body, mood, or lifestyle?
- Bring someone with you to your appointment if doing so will help you feel more comfortable.
- If you do not understand something related to your condition or treatment, ask your doctor to explain it to you.
Remember, your doctor and other healthcare professionals are available to help you. And they want you to get the best care possible. So, do not be afraid to ask questions or offer feedback on your treatment.
Costs of prescription drugs can vary depending on many factors. These factors include what your insurance plan covers and which pharmacy you use. To find current prices for Dupixent in your area, visit WellRx.com.
If you have questions about how to pay for your prescription, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. You can also visit the Dupixent manufacturer’s website to see if they have support options.
Your doctor may prescribe Dupixent if you have certain forms of:
Dupixent treats these conditions by targeting a very specific part of your immune system. Read on to learn more about these conditions and how Dupixent is used for them.
Moderate to severe atopic dermatitis (eczema)
Dupixent is used for eczema in adults and kids ages 6 years and older. It’s prescribed when medications applied on the skin are not working well to control eczema symptoms. It’s also an option to try when those drugs can’t be used.
With eczema, you have dry, itchy skin patches that can flare up into rashes. Certain triggers, such as scented soaps or detergents, can cause eczema flare-ups. Eczema is a skin condition that’s most common in children, but it can also continue into adulthood.
To treat eczema, Dupixent can be used alone or with corticosteroids applied to the skin.
Moderate to severe asthma
Dupixent is used as an add-on treatment for certain types of asthma in adults and children ages 12 years and older. (As an add-on treatment, it’s used together with one or more other medications.) These types of asthma include:
- eosinophilic asthma, which is asthma associated with high levels of eosinophils (a type of white blood cell) in your body
- asthma that must be treated with corticosteroids taken by mouth, such as prednisone
Asthma is a chronic (long-term) condition that causes inflammation (swelling) and narrowing of your airways. Symptoms of asthma can include:
Certain triggers, such as exercise or cold weather, can cause asthma symptoms to suddenly become severe. This is called an asthma attack.
It’s important to note that Dupixent should not be used to treat an asthma attack. Instead, you should use a rescue inhaler to ease asthma attack symptoms. Albuterol (ProAir HFA, Ventolin HFA) is an example of a rescue inhaler.
Chronic sinusitis with nasal polyps
Dupixent is used in adults to treat chronic (long term) sinusitis (swelling in your sinuses) with nasal polyps. (Polyps are growths on the inside lining of your nose). Dupixent is used as an add-on treatment in people who are already using other treatments, but whose symptoms still aren’t well managed. (As an add-on treatment, it’s used together with one or more other medications.)
Your sinuses are the hollow spaces located behind your nose, forehead, and cheekbones. Sinusitis occurs when your sinuses become inflamed (swollen) due to allergies, recurrent sinus infections, or other causes. Sinusitis symptoms usually include:
- runny nose
- stuffy nose
- pain or pressure in your face, especially around your eyes and nose
- sore throat due to postnasal drip (drainage of mucus down the back of your throat)
- reduced sense of smell
If you have sinusitis for longer than 3 months, it’s considered chronic sinusitis. Over time, nasal polyps can form in inflamed sinus tissue. They can make it more difficult to breathe through your nose.
As an add-on treatment for this condition, Dupixent is used with one or more other treatments.
Find answers to some commonly asked questions about Dupixent.
Is Dupixent used to treat cancer, dyshidrotic eczema, alopecia, or psoriasis?
No, Dupixent is only approved to treat atopic dermatitis (eczema), asthma, and chronic sinusitis with nasal polyps. To learn about these conditions, see the “What is Dupixent used for?” section above.
But it’s possible that healthcare professionals may prescribe this drug off-label for other conditions. (With off-label use, a drug is used to treat a condition other than those it was approved for.)
If you have questions about Dupixent’s effectiveness for other conditions, talk with your doctor.
Can Dupixent cause weight gain, hair loss, diarrhea, or headache?
Keep in mind that other drugs may be used along with Dupixent. These drugs, such as corticosteroids, often cause multiple side effects.
If you have concerns about any side effects while you’re using Dupixent, talk with your doctor.
Where can I find before and after pictures for Dupixent treatment?
You can view results from Dupixent treatment in adults and children with eczema on Dupixent’s manufacturer’s website.
How does Dupixent work? And what’s its half-life?
Specifically, Dupixent’s mechanism of action is to block certain proteins from binding to their receptors (attachment sites) in your immune system. These proteins are called interleukin-4 (IL-4) and interleukin-13 (IL-13).
Normally, when IL-4 and IL-13 bind to their receptors, your immune system releases cytokines. And this release of cytokines leads to inflammation.
Is Dupixent an immunosuppressant? Does it lower the activity of your immune system?
Dupixent isn’t known to weaken your immune system in a way that makes it easier for you to get infections. Instead, the drug reduces inflammation signals in your immune system that can cause eczema, asthma, and chronic sinusitis. (These are conditions Dupixent is used to treat.)
Keep in mind that inflammation signals are important for your immune system to respond to certain vaccines. For information about receiving vaccines during Dupixent treatment, see “Vaccine interactions” in the “What should be considered before taking Dupixent?” section below.
If you have questions about Dupixent’s effects on your immune system, talk with your doctor.
How does Dupixent compare with Fasenra and Nucala?
Dupixent, Fasenra, and Nucala are similar in that they’re all monoclonal antibodies drugs. (Monoclonal antibodies are large proteins that work on specific targets within your immune system.) These three medications are used for some of the same conditions, but they also have some different uses. And they contain different active drugs.
For instance, they’re all used to treat eosinophilic asthma in adults and some children.
Nucala is also used to treat other conditions, such as:
- eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA)
- hypereosinophilic syndrome (HES) in some people
And Dupixent is also used for:
For more information on Dupixent’s uses, see the “What is Dupixent used for?” section above.
Your healthcare professional can discuss the risks and benefits of the treatment options that are best for your condition.
There are several important things to discuss with your doctor when considering Dupixent treatment. These include your overall health, any medical conditions you have, and any drugs or supplements you take.
Taking medications, vaccines, foods, and other things with a certain drug can affect how the drug works. These effects are called interactions.
Before taking Dupixent, be sure to tell your doctor about all medications you take, including prescription and over-the-counter types. Also, make a list of any vitamins, herbs, or supplements you use. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you about any interactions these items may cause with Dupixent.
Interactions with drugs or supplements
No interactions are known to happen with Dupixent and other drugs or supplements. This is because Dupixent is a monoclonal antibody. It’s broken down into pieces inside your cells.
Most other types of drugs are broken down by your liver, where they can interact with each other. Since Dupixent isn’t broken down in the liver, drug interactions aren’t a concern with it.
If you have questions about taking any medications or supplements with Dupixent, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Interactions with vaccines
But these signals are important for your immune system to respond to certain vaccines. Live vaccines contain weakened versions of viruses or bacteria.
So, you should not get live vaccines while you’re receiving Dupixent. If your immune system doesn’t respond the way it should, you could get the infection a live vaccine is meant to protect you from.
If you’re due for any live vaccines, talk with your doctor. They’ll likely have you wait to start Dupixent until at least 4 weeks after you get any live vaccines.
Examples of live vaccines include:
- live influenza (flu) vaccine, which is given as a nasal spray
- measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
- yellow fever
Non-live vaccines are generally safe to get while you’re receiving Dupixent. Some common non-live vaccines include:
- COVID-19 vaccines
- hepatitis A and hepatitis B
- human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine
- inactivated influenza vaccine (flu shot), which is given as an injection
- meningococcal vaccines
- pneumococcal vaccines
- shingles vaccine (Shingrix)
- tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Tdap)
If you have questions about getting vaccines while taking Dupixent, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Dupixent may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors that affect your health. Talk with your doctor about your health history before you take Dupixent. Factors to consider include those described below.
Taking or stopping steroid medications
If you’re taking Dupixent, your doctor will likely prescribe additional medications for your condition, such as corticosteroids. Examples include oral prednisone, inhaled fluticasone (Flovent) or budesonide (Pulmicort), and nasal fluticasone (Flonase).
You should not suddenly stop taking steroid drugs. Doing so may cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, or fatigue (lack of energy). If your doctor recommends you stop taking a steroid, talk with them about how to slowly lower your dosage before completely stopping the drug.
Also, if you have asthma and take a steroid by mouth, Dupixent may increase your risk of problems related to eosinophilia. (With eosinophilia, you have an increased level of eosinophils, which are a type of white blood cell that cause swelling.) Rarely, severe vasculitis (swelling throughout your blood vessels) has occurred with eosinophilia.
If you take steroids for asthma, talk with your doctor before starting Dupixent. They may monitor you more closely while you’re receiving this drug.
Eye or vision problems
Dupixent can cause new or worsening symptoms of eye or vision problems. It’s important to have frequent eye exams while taking Dupixent. Be sure to talk with your doctor if you develop any eye symptoms or vision changes while taking this drug.
If you have a worm (parasite) infection, such as tapeworm or roundworm, you’ll need treatment for it before you start using Dupixent. If you get a worm infection during Dupixent treatment, your doctor may recommend you stop taking the drug until the infection has been treated.
This is because Dupixent wasn’t studied in people with worm infections. So, it isn’t known if Dupixent may lower your immune system’s ability to clear this type of infection.
With asthma, symptoms such as shortness of breath and wheezing can become suddenly severe. This is called an asthma attack. Dupixent should not be used to stop an asthma attack. Instead, a rescue inhaler, such as albuterol (ProAir HFA, Ventolin HFA), should be used.
If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Dupixent or any of its ingredients, you should not take Dupixent. Ask your doctor about other treatment options that would be safer for you.
Dupixent and alcohol
Alcohol may cause harmful interactions when taken with certain drugs, but Dupixent isn’t one of them.
If you’re wondering how much alcohol is safe to drink with your condition, talk with your doctor.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
It isn’t known if Dupixent is safe to take during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. If you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning either, talk with your doctor. They can recommend the safest way to treat your condition during this time.
Dupixent (dupilumab) and Xolair (omalizumab) are both biologic drugs. They’re made from living cells rather than chemicals. Both drugs are types of monoclonal antibodies. They work by targeting very specific but different parts of your immune system.
Dupixent and Xolair are both used to treat certain forms of asthma in adults and some children. They each have other uses, too.
You can learn more about how they are alike and different in this article. Also, be sure to talk with your doctor about which drug is better for you.
Do not take more Dupixent than your doctor prescribes. Using more than this may lead to serious side effects.
What to do in case you take too much Dupixent
Call your doctor if you think you’ve taken too much Dupixent. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach the American Association of Poison Control Centers, or use its online resource. However, if you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 (or your local emergency number) or go to the nearest emergency room.
When you’re considering using Dupixent, it’s important to talk with your doctor about your treatment plan. It’s common to continue using other treatments for eczema, asthma, or sinusitis with Dupixent. Be sure that you understand which treatments you should continue using. And ask your doctor if there are any you should stop using.
You may also want to discuss other ways to manage your symptoms besides using medication. For example, with eczema, these may include avoiding certain triggers and choosing natural remedies.
Here are some other questions to ask when talking with your doctor:
- If Dupixent works well for my condition, will I need to continue it for the rest of my life?
- Are there any vaccines that I should get before starting Dupixent?
- Do my other medical conditions increase my risk for side effects with Dupixent?
- Can I take ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or other anti-inflammatory pain relievers with Dupixent?
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Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.