Asthma strikes one in every 12 people, which is about 8% of the population. And the numbers are on the rise. The airway swelling of this condition can be triggered by allergens or environmental irritants, leading to potentially life-threatening symptoms of trouble breathing, wheezing, coughing, and chest tightness. There is no cure, although there are many options for managing the condition. The FDA just approved a new treatment for moderate-to-severe asthma: the biologic medication Dupixent® (dupilumab).
Dupixent, an injection biologic medication that patients can self-administer at home, has previously been approved for eczema. The medication itself is a monoclonal antibody that targets the immune system by inactivating two inflammatory compounds (called IL-4 and IL-13). Dupixent is now the only biologic approved for both moderate and severe asthma for those who have eosinophilic phenotype, as well as for those with any phenotype who are taking oral corticosteroids.
Dupixent’s approval from the FDA came after clinical trials demonstrated that this medication led to several important benefits, including:
- Less severe exacerbations of asthma attacks
- Reduced oral corticosteroid usage
- Improved quality of life
- Improved lung function
This approval of Dupixent comes as welcome news to the many people with uncontrolled, persistent asthma symptoms, even when using other treatments faithfully. Dupixent is intended to be an add-on maintenance therapy.