Eczema Blog by Arthur Russo

Eczema Blog by Arthur Russo

We received a lovely email from Arthur an eczema sufferer who reads our eczema blogs. He was kind and brave enough to share his experiences with us to try and help anyone going through similar issues. 
We’d personally like to thank him and for giving us permission to share his story.
In this eczema blog, he talks about Dupixent which we reviewed recently. We have also found out about a support page on facebook for anyone using Dupixent which may be helpful if you’re using it or considering having the treatment.
We have included links below for our article on Dupixent and the Facebook group.
Here is Arthurs email….
Hello
 
About a year ago I developed an itch on the back of my right calf. I initially thought this was an insect bite due to the constant urge to itch. Even when I went to my dermatologist to have some moles removed he said I should not be concerned. About a month later I noticed what I thought was an ingrown hair on my right thigh. I tried to pop it and did but it never healed and only got bigger in size. Then over the next month or so I started to see more of these red dots appearing which itched. 
 
I went back to the dermatologist and he determined that I had nummular eczema. He put me on a topical cream which contained steroids. This helped but did nothing to slow the amount of spots on my legs. Finally about 2 months ago my dermatologist put me on steroids, pill form for a little over a week. All areas effected disappeared. But as soon as the treatment stopped the eczema came back with a vengeance. It was worse than before.
 
My doctor decided to put me on Dupixent. I was a little uneasy because I could not see myself giving injections into my body. But I decided to proceed. The first dose consists of two 350MG injections. The nurse did the first one and I manned up and did the second. Two weeks later I injected myself again. 
 
I have to say that after the initial injections within 2 days I started to see substantial improvement. My areas with eczema started to heal and I have not experienced any additional flare-ups. 
 
I think my doctor wants me to stop after my next injection but I think I will do at least 3 more times and then try to see what happens after that. I have read up on Dupixent and unfortunately, it seems that you have to continue treatment in order to continue seeing the benefit.
 
I will follow up after I stop treatment. I am hoping for the best.
 
Regards,
Arthur Russo
Once again we’d like to thank Arthur for being very brave and sharing his story with us. It’s people like Arthur who give hope and comfort to people going through the same issues. Knowing that someone else is going through the same issues as you can make them feel less isolated.
Please feel free to comment on this blog and get in touch with us if you would like to share your own story.
What is DUPIXENT?  Miracle cure for eczema or hype?

What is DUPIXENT? Miracle cure for eczema or hype?

What is DUPIXENT?

DUPIXENT is an injectable prescription medicine used to treat adult patients ( 18 and over) with moderate-to-severe eczema, It comes in an easy to use injection that you can do yourself from home.

DUPIXENT can be used with or without topical corticosteroids. Test have not proven to be suitable for children and this is an area they are still researching. Hopefully, a formula will become available in the future for children.

Dupixent is the first biologic medication approved by the FDA for adults with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis. It is taken subcutaneously (by injection) at 300 mg once every other week.

Biologic drugs or “biologics” are genetically engineered from proteins derived from living cells or tissues. Biologics are designed to target specific parts of the immune system that contribute to chronic inflammatory diseases such as atopic dermatitis.

Is DUPIXENT available in the UK?

Dupixent is now available in the UK please speak to your Doctor or GP However it is a very new medication and not all Doctors or GP’s will be aware of it. Visit DUPIXENT WEBSITE

It’s been fully tested in the US and has had some amazing results, most cases had a 75% reduction in symptoms.   The treatment is limited to the most extreme cases in the UK due to the cost APX £30,000 for a full years treatment, however, it is available on the NHS but again in limited cases.

How does DUPIXENT WORK?

Dupixent works by blocking a type of protein called an interleukin, or IL, from binding to their cell receptors. Interleukins contribute to a functioning immune system by helping to fight off viruses or bacteria in our bodies. When the immune system goes crazy, it can trigger certain ILs to mistakenly attack the body, resulting in chronic inflammatory conditions such as atopic dermatitis.

Dupixent works on two interleukins thought to contribute to atopic diseases: IL-4 and IL-13. By blocking IL-4 and IL-13 from binding to the receptors, Dupixent curbs the immune system over-reaction that results in atopic dermatitis. A calmed immune system leads to fewer and/or less severe symptoms of AD.

How is DUPIXENT taken?

Dupixent is made from proteins and must be given by injection. No creams or pills are available. The injection is very easy and safe to use.

HERE’S A YOUTUBE VIDEO SHOWING DUPIXENT BEING USED.

How long do you take DUPIXENT for?

Dupixent is not a one-shot wonder unfortunately, you will need to remain on Dupixent to benefit from the medication.



What are the side effects?

After speaking to lots of eczema sufferers who have been using this medication for the past year the most common side effects seem to be around the eyes ( pink eyes).  Some also complained of cold sores and sensitive areas around the mouth.

One or two people I spoke to out of APX 20 had to come off the medication due to bad swelling around the eye, most people did see a great reduction in the symptoms and greatly improved skin. However, if the side effects are too bad you will need to come off the medication no matter how much your eczema improved.

DUPIXENT can cause serious side effects, including:

  • Allergic reactions. Stop using DUPIXENT and go to the nearest hospital emergency room if you get any of the following symptoms:
    • fever
    • general ill feeling
    • swollen lymph nodes
    • hives
    • itching
    • joint pain
    • skin rash
  • Eye problems. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any new or worsening eye problems, including eye pain or changes in vision.

How much does it cost?

In the US a full years course cost APX $37,000 and is expected in the UK to cost around £30,000. Insurance companies in the US have been approving payments for the drug and the company itself Dupixent have also offered a reduction in the trails.

In the UK the NHS have agreed to pay for the treatment but only in the most extreme cases. It sounds a lot £30k but most drugs in the UK taken over a year add up to a large amount. Cancer treatment is APX £30-40k per year to treat.

Conclusion, Miracle or myth?

Well, the result certainly seems to prove the drug works, it’s not a total cure. Were all hoping for that one shot cure treatment for eczema but this is not it. It’s great to know that researchers have now found a way to reduce eczema in most cases which only fills me with hope for the future.

This drug is new! It will continue to be developed but it’s a great start. It will be very limited so don’t be too disappointed when you ask your Dr to put you on the treatment, he or she probably won’t even know its available yet.

Let us know if you have been on this treatment or know someone who has.

This website and blogs pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about and med­i­cine, health and related sub­jects. The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this website or blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other healthcare workers, GP or Doctor.

Never dis­re­gard pro­fes­sional med­ical advice or delay in seek­ing it because of some­thing you have read on this blog or in any linked materials. Dupixent should be used only on the advice and supervision of your Doctor or GP.



Resources Used

https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03428646

https://www.dupixenthcp.com/atopicdermatitis/about/study-designs

https://investor.regeneron.com/news-releases/news-release-details/positive-phase-3-results-presented-dupixentr-dupilumab-show

http://www.news.sanofi.us/2018-05-16-Dupixent-R-dupilumab-showed-positive-Phase-3-results-in-adolescents-with-inadequately-controlled-moderate-to-severe-atopic-dermatitis

https://pharmaintelligence.informa.com/resources/product-content/aad-roundup-more-data-emerges-in-atopic-dermatitis