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Dupixent

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Generic Name: dupilumab
Product Name: Dupixent

Indication: What Dupixent is used for

Dupixent contains the active substance dupilumab.

Dupixent is used to treat moderate to severe atopic dermatitis (also known as atopic eczema) in adult patients.

Your doctor will assess if Dupixent is appropriate for your condition.

Dupixent may be used with or without prescribed atopic dermatitis medicines that you apply to skin.

Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why Dupixent has been prescribed for you.

▼ This medicine is subject to additional monitoring. This will allow quick identification of new safety information. You can help by reporting any side effects you may get. You can report side effects to your doctor, or directly at www.tga.gov.au/reporting-problems.

Action: How Dupixent works

Dupixent is an injectable prescription medicine that inhibits IL-4 and IL-13 proteins by blocking a shared receptor. IL-4 and IL-13 play a major role in the symptoms of atopic dermatitis.

Dupixent belongs to a class of medicines called monoclonal antibodies. Monoclonal antibodies are proteins that specifically recognise and bind to other unique proteins in the body.

The active ingredient in Dupixent is dupilumab 300 mg.

It also contains the inactive ingredients acetic acid, arginine hydrochloride, histidine, polysorbate 80, sodium acetate, sucrose, and water for injections.

Dose advice: How to use Dupixent

Before you use it

When you must not use it

Do not use Dupixent if you have an allergy to:

  • Any medicine containing dupilumab (the active ingredient) or any of the ingredients listed here;

Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:

  • Rash, itching or hives on the skin;
  • Shortness of breath;
  • Wheezing or difficulty breathing;
  • Swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body.

Tell your doctor if you are experiencing these symptoms.

Dupixent should not be used after the expiry date (exp) printed on the pack. If you use this medicine after the expiry date has passed, it may not work as well, or have an unexpected effect.

Dupixent should not be used if the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering.

Do not use Dupixent if the product appears cloudy, discoloured or contains particles, or if the syringe and/or needle cap appear damaged.

Do not use Dupixent in a child or adolescent. Dupixent has not been studied for use in children or adolescents under 18 years old.

If you are not sure whether you should start using this medicine, talk to your Doctor.

Before you start to use it

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have allergies to any other medicines, or substances such as foods, preservatives or dyes.

Tell your doctor if you have any of the following, or if any of the following apply to you:

  • Have a parasitic (helminth) infection;
  • Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Dupixent will harm your unborn baby;
  • Are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known whether Dupixent passes into breast milk.
  • Have recently received or are scheduled to receive a vaccine;
  • Any new or worsening eye problems, including eye pain or changes in vision;
  • Have any other medical conditions.

If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell them before you start using Dupixent.

Taking other medicines

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, have recently taken, or might take any other medicines, including any that you get without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.

If you have asthma and are taking asthma medicines, do not change or stop your asthma medicine without talking to your doctor.

You should not receive a certain type of vaccine while taking Dupixent. Tell your doctor if you have recently received a vaccine or planned to receive a vaccine.

How to use Dupixent

Dupixent comes as a single-dose (1-time use) pre-filled syringe with or without needle shield. Your healthcare provider will prescribe the type that is best for you. Follow all directions given to you by your doctor and pharmacist carefully.

Read carefully the “Dupixent Instructions for Use” provided in the carton. If you do not understand the instructions on the label or here, ask your doctor or pharmacist for help.

How to use it

Always check the syringe label before each injection to make sure you are using the right medicine.

Dupixent is clear and colourless to pale yellow solution that should not be shaken before use.

Do not use Dupixent if it is not clear to pale yellow or if it contains particles.

To avoid discomfort, Dupixent should be removed from the refrigerator at least 45 minutes before your injection so that it reaches room temperature.

The syringe should not be exposed to heat or direct sunlight.

The injection can be self-administered or given by another person, after proper training in injection technique.

Dupixent syringes are pre-filled and ready to use. Once the contents have been injected, the syringe cannot be re-used.

Never use a syringe if it is damaged, or you are not sure that it is working properly. Use a new syringe.

Use the syringe within 14 days after taking it out of the refrigerator.

Dupixent is intended for injection under the skin.

If you do not understand the instructions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

How much to use

Use the dose that your doctor prescribes for you.

Dupixent is given as an injection under the skin (subcutaneously) once every two weeks.

Where to inject

Dupixent is injected under the skin (subcutaneous injection). You can inject into the thigh or abdomen, except for the 2 inches (5 cm) around the navel, using a single-dose prefilled syringe. If somebody else administers the injection, the upper arm can also be used. Use a different injection site each injection so that the same site is not used.

Do not inject in an area where the skin that is tender, damaged, sunburnt or has bruises or scars.

Do not inject Dupixent with other injectable medicines, at the same injection site.

How long to use it

Continue using Dupixent for as long as your doctor recommends.

Make sure you keep enough Dupixent to last when you go on holidays.

If you forget to use it

If you forget to use Dupixent, then administer the dose as soon as possible. Thereafter, resume dosing at the regularly scheduled time.

In case you are not sure when to inject Dupixent, call your doctor or pharmacist. It is important to use Dupixent as prescribed by your doctor.

If you take too much (overdose)

Immediately telephone your doctor or the Poisons Information Centre (13 11 26) or go to accident and emergency at your nearest hospital, if you think that you have taken too much Dupixent. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. You may need urgent medical attention.

Always take the outer carton of the medicine with you.

While you are using it

If you experience any symptoms of an allergic reaction, stop using Dupixent and talk to your doctor immediately.

Things you must do

Always follow your doctor’s instructions carefully.

Keep Dupixent in a refrigerator (2°C – 8°C). Do not freeze. Do not expose to extreme heat.

Dupixent should be removed from the refrigerator at least 45 minutes before your injection to avoid discomfort.

Dupixent should not be exposed to heat or direct sunlight.

It is important to keep using Dupixent even if you feel well. Continuous use of Dupixent helps to control your condition.

If you become pregnant while you are using Dupixent, tell your doctor.

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you get without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.  If you have asthma and are taking asthma medicines, do not change or stop your asthma medicine without talking to your doctor.

If you are about to be started on any new medicine, tell your doctor and pharmacist that you are taking Dupixent.

Things you must not do

Do not use Dupixent if you think it has been frozen or exposed to excessive heat (temperatures above 25°C).

Do not give Dupixent to anyone else, even if they have the same condition as you.

Do not stop taking your medicine without checking with your doctor.

Things to be aware of

Dupixent is unlikely to influence your ability to drive and use machines.

After using it

Storage

All medicines should be kept where children cannot reach them.

Before use, keep Dupixent syringes in a refrigerator where the temperature is between 2-8°C. If necessary, pre-filled syringes can be kept at room temperature up to 25°C for a maximum of 14 days. Keep the syringes in the original carton to protect from light.

Do not allow it to freeze. Discard if frozen.

Do not expose to heat. Do not shake.

If you need to travel, make sure the medicine is kept at the right temperature. This is important whether travelling by car, bus, train, plane or any other form of transport.

Disposal

After injecting Dupixent, immediately throw away the used pre-filled syringe in a sharps container as instructed by your doctor or pharmacist.

If your doctor tells you to stop using Dupixent or the expiry date has passed, ask your pharmacist what to do with any medicine that is left over.

Schedule of Dupixent

Dupixent is a prescription only medicine (Schedule 4).

Side effects of Dupixent

Tell your Doctor as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are using Dupixent. All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical attention if you get some of the side effects.

Do not be alarmed by the following lists of side effects. You may not experience any of them.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.

Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following side effects and they worry you or it does not go away:

  • Injection site reactions;
  • Eye and eyelid inflammation (including redness/swelling/ itching);
  • Oral herpes (cold sores).

Dupixent can cause serious side effects, including generalized allergic (hypersensitivity) reactions can happen after you get your Dupixent injection.

If you have any signs of allergic (hypersensitivity) reaction stop using Dupixent, tell your doctor immediately or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital.

These are not all of the possible side effects of Dupixent. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. Tell your doctor if you notice anything else that is making you feel unwell.

For further information talk to your doctor.

References

  1. Dupixent Consumer Medicine Information (CMI). Macquarie Park, NSW: Sanofi-Aventis Australia Pty  Ltd. February 2018. [PDF]
  2. Dupixent Product Information (PI). Macquarie Park, NSW: Sanofi-Aventis Australia Pty  Ltd. March 2018. [PDF]
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Dates

Posted On: 4 December, 2018
Modified On: 4 December, 2018
Reviewed On: 4 December, 2018

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