Dupixent (dupilumab) is a prescription brand-name medication. It’s approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat the following in certain situations:

  • Atopic dermatitis (eczema) that’s moderate to severe. The drug is approved for use in adults as well as children ages 6 years and older.
  • Long-term rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps. Dupixent is used in combination with other long-term treatments for this condition. The drug is approved for this use in certain adults.
  • Asthma that’s moderate to severe. Dupixent is prescribed for people who have eosinophilic asthma or asthma that requires oral corticosteroids. Dupixent is approved for this use in adults as well as children ages 12 years and older.

You’ll likely take Dupixent long term if you and your doctor agree that the drug is working for your condition.

Here are some fast facts about Dupixent:

  • Active ingredient: dupilumab, which is a biologic
  • Drug class: monoclonal antibody
  • Drug form: liquid solution in a prefilled syringe or pen, given as a subcutaneous injection
  • FDA approval year: 2017

Like other drugs, Dupixent can cause side effects. Read on to learn about potential common, mild, and serious side effects. For a general overview of Dupixent, including details about its uses, see this article.

Dupixent can cause certain side effects (also known as adverse effects), some of which are more common than others. These side effects may be temporary, lasting a few days or weeks. But if the side effects last longer than that, bother you, or become severe, be sure to talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

These are just a few of the more common side effects reported by people who took Dupixent in clinical studies. These side effects can vary depending on the condition the drug is being used to treat.

More common side effects in people taking Dupixent for atopic dermatitis (eczema) include:

More common side effects in people taking Dupixent for rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps include:

More common side effects in people taking Dupixent for asthma include:

  • reactions where the drug is injected, such as pain and swelling
  • throat pain or soreness
  • high levels of white blood cells called eosinophils†

* For details, see “Eye-related side effects” in the “Side effect specifics” section below.
† For more information, see “Eosinophilic conditions” in the “Side effect specifics” section below.

Mild side effects can occur with Dupixent. This list doesn’t include all possible mild side effects of the drug. For more information, you can refer to Dupixent’s patient information.

Mild side effects that have been reported with Dupixent include:

These side effects may be temporary, lasting a few days or weeks. But if the side effects last longer than that, bother you, or become severe, be sure to talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a drug, it tracks and reviews side effects of the medication. If you develop a side effect while taking Dupixent and want to tell the FDA about it, visit MedWatch.

* For details, see the “Side effect specifics” section below.
† For more information, see “Eosinophilic conditions” in the “Side effect specifics” section below.

Dupixent may cause serious side effects. The list below may not include all possible serious side effects of the drug. For more information, you can refer to Dupixent’s patient information.

If you develop serious side effects while taking Dupixent, call your doctor right away. If the side effects seem life threatening or you think you’re having a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number.

Serious side effects that have been reported with Dupixent include:

* For details about this, see the “Side effect specifics” section below.

Long-term side effects

A clinical study showed that side effects from Dupixent were similar whether the drug was used short term or long term.

Most side effects that Dupixent causes are short term. But in rare cases, the drug can cause side effects that may be long lasting. These include eye-related side effects, such as changes in vision and new or worsening eye conditions. The side effects also include vasculitis (swelling and inflammation of blood vessels).

For more information about eye-related side effects and vasculitis, see the “Side effect specifics” section below.

Dupixent may cause several side effects. Here are some frequently asked questions about the drug’s side effects and their answers.

Should I expect to gain weight when taking Dupixent?

It’s unlikely you’ll gain weight as a side effect from using Dupixent. People using the drug in its original clinical studies didn’t report weight gain.

Since the drug was approved, a very small study found a possible link between weight gain and Dupixent treatment in people with atopic dermatitis (eczema). But more research is needed to determine whether Dupixent or a different factor caused the weight gain in the people.

Some other drugs that treat the same conditions Dupixent is prescribed for can cause weight gain. These other drugs include corticosteroids such as prednisone (Rayos, Prednisone Intensol).

If you have questions or concerns about weight gain or your Dupixent treatment, talk with your doctor.

Does Dupixent cause hair loss?

People using Dupixent in clinical studies didn’t report hair loss as a side effect.

But since Dupixent was approved, there have been rare reports of people experiencing hair loss after using the drug.

On the other hand, Dupixent has been found to reduce hair loss in some people. Research has looked at people with atopic dermatitis, and a condition called alopecia areata (a genetic cause of hair loss). Dupixent reduced both hair loss and atopic dermatitis. Because of this information, the drug is being studied to see if it can treat hair loss.

At present, it’s not known if Dupixent can cause hair loss or if the drug may treat hair loss. If you’d like to learn more about Dupixent and hair loss, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Is fatigue a side effect of Dupixent?

It’s not likely that you’ll have fatigue (low energy) as a side effect of taking Dupixent. People using the drug in clinical studies didn’t report having fatigue.

But fatigue is a side effect of a similar drug called mepolizumab (Nucala). Mepolizumab is approved to treat severe eosinophilic asthma.

If you have questions or concerns about your energy level while taking Dupixent, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to suggest ways to help boost it.

What side effects can I expect when using Dupixent for asthma?

More common side effects in people taking Dupixent for asthma include:

For a full list of side effects Dupixent may cause in people with asthma, you can view the drug’s prescribing information. You can also ask your doctor or pharmacist.

* For more information, see “Eosinophilic conditions” in the “Side effect specifics” section below.

Are headaches a possible side effect of using Dupixent?

It’s unlikely you’ll experience headaches as a side effect from using Dupixent. People using the drug in clinical studies didn’t report having headaches.

But headache is a side effect of similar drugs called Fasenra (benralizumab) and Nucala (mepolizumab). These two drugs are approved to treat severe eosinophilic asthma.

If you have questions or concerns about headaches while taking Dupixent, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Is cancer one of Dupixent’s side effects?

No, cancer isn’t known to be a side effect of Dupixent. People using the drug in its clinical studies didn’t report developing cancer.

But another drug used to treat asthma, Xolair (omalizumab), may increase your risk of certain types of cancer. These include breast cancer and skin cancer.

If you have concerns about your risk of cancer or questions about Dupixent, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Learn more about some of the side effects that Dupixent may cause.

Eye-related side effects

Dupixent could cause ocular (eye-related) side effects, including:

Eye-related side effects weren’t common in clinical studies.

Symptoms of these side effects can include eye redness, discharge, pain, and watery eyes.

What you can do

If you experience symptoms of eye-related side effects while taking Dupixent, talk with your doctor immediately. They can help determine the right treatment. This may include having you stop using Dupixent.

* To learn more, see the “Precautions for Dupixent” section below.

Joint pain

Although joint pain isn’t common with Dupixent, it can still occur. This side effect was reported in clinical studies by some people who used the drug for long-term rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps.

People who used Dupixent for atopic dermatitis (eczema) or asthma didn’t report joint pain as a side effect.

What you can do

If you have joint pain while using Dupixent, talk with your doctor. They may be able to recommend a treatment, such as an over-the-counter pain reliever. But if your joint pain doesn’t go away, they may recommend you stop using Dupixent.

Eosinophilic conditions

Eosinophilic conditions are a rare side effect of Dupixent when the drug is used to treat asthma. Examples of eosinophilic conditions are pneumonia and vasculitis (swelling and inflammation in your blood vessels).

Eosinophils are a type of white blood cell that help your body fight infection. Having high levels of eosinophils can cause problems with inflammation.

Symptoms of eosinophilic conditions can include:

What you can do

If you develop any symptoms linked to eosinophilic conditions while using Dupixent, talk with your doctor right away. If your symptoms feel life threatening or you think you’re having a medical emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number right away.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, Dupixent can cause an allergic reaction in some people. This side effect was rare in clinical studies of the drug.

An allergic reaction is different from an injection site reaction, which can occur where you inject Dupixent. With an injection site reaction, you may have symptoms such as pain and swelling.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction can be mild or serious and can include:

  • rash
  • itching
  • flushing (temporary warmth, redness, or deepening of skin color)
  • swelling under your skin, typically in your lips, eyelids, feet, or hands
  • swelling of your mouth, tongue, or throat, which can make it hard to breathe

What you can do

For mild symptoms of an allergic reaction, call your doctor right away. They may recommend ways to ease your symptoms and determine whether you should keep taking Dupixent. But if your symptoms are serious and you think you’re having a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number.

Be sure to talk with your doctor about your health history before you take Dupixent. This drug may not be the right treatment for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors that affect your health. The conditions and factors to consider include:

Parasitic infection. Dupixent may reduce your immune system’s ability to fight a parasitic infection. If you have a parasitic infection (such as a tapeworm), it will need to be treated before you can use Dupixent. Your doctor can give you more information about parasitic infection and possible treatment options.

Asthma attack. Dupixent cannot be used to treat sudden asthma attacks. Dupixent can help relieve asthma symptoms, so you have fewer and less severe asthma attacks. But the drug does not treat asthma attacks themselves.

Allergic reaction. You should not use Dupixent if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to Dupixent or any of its ingredients. Talk with your doctor about which other treatments are better choices for you.

Alcohol and Dupixent

There are no known interactions between consuming alcohol and taking Dupixent.

But alcohol may worsen the conditions Dupixent is used to treat. For this reason, talk with your doctor about your condition and how alcohol may affect it. They can offer advice about how much alcohol is safe for you to consume.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding while taking Dupixent

Here’s some information about pregnancy, breastfeeding, and Dupixent treatment.

Pregnancy. It’s not known whether it’s safe to use Dupixent while pregnant. If you and your doctor agree that using the medication is the best option for you while pregnant, you may want to join a pregnancy registry. The registry monitors the health of people who use Dupixent during pregnancy. To learn more or sign up, call 877-311-8972 or visit the registry website. You can also talk with your doctor.

Breastfeeding. It’s not known whether Dupixent passes into human breast milk or is safe to use while breastfeeding. Your doctor can advise you on the pros and cons of the medication. They can also recommend healthy feeding options for your child.

Like most medications, Dupixent may cause side effects. Most side effects caused by Dupixent are mild and typically go away on their own. However, there are some rare but serious side effects reported by people using the drug in clinical studies.

If you’d like to learn more about Dupixent, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can help answer any questions you have about side effects of taking the drug.

Besides talking with your doctor, you can do some research on your own. These articles might help:

Disclaimer: Medical News Today 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.