Dupixent, also known as Dupilumab, is a drug intended to function as an interleukin inhibitor. It is commonly prescribed for severe allergies such as asthma, atopic dermatitis, chronic rhinitis with nasal polyps, and other conditions. Dupilumab is an active component of Dupixent, which behaves as a monoclonal antibody that protects against allergy symptoms.
The dose of this drug will depend on the severity of the patient. It also varies according to other conditions, such as body weight. Dupixent comes in a pre-filled syringe with a single dose or in auto-injector pens. According to the doctor’s instructions, it is an extremely expensive drug administered by injection under the skin for two to four weeks. We have prepared a guide to answer your questions about the medicine and tell you how much Dupixent costs without insurance.
What is Dupixent, and how does it work?
Dupixent is a medicine that is given by injection to treat severe allergies. Within these conditions, it is prescribed for:
- Atopic dermatitis, or moderate to severe eczema, is a condition that reddens the skin and causes itching. This condition appears after six years of age and does not respond well to other milder treatments
- Moderate to severe as from age 12 and older do not respond well to other treatments
- Chronic rhinosinusitis or continuous inflation of the nasal area, sinuses, and nasal polyps for adults who do not respond well to older medications
Dupixent is an FDA-approved monoclonal antibody drug. Dupixent is a blocker of two inflammation-promoting proteins that affect the diseases above. It is applied through a syringe or a drug pen to transfer the liquid under the skin. It is not currently available as a generic drug.
How much does Dupixent cost without insurance?
Dupixent is a moderately expensive medication. Although other drugs have the same components, all brand-name injections are costly and may only be available at specialty pharmacies.
Very few people can access this medication if they do not have insurance. Even those with insurance may pay thousands of dollars extra per month to get the prescription.
Dupixent is covered by some insurance programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. But, in most cases, health plans usually ask for prior authorization to cover the cost; that means sending a letter to the insurer addressing medical necessity. Patients should not be surprised if the company initially decides not to cover the prescription.
Cost of Dupixent per month without insurance
Monthly costs are around $4,910 for two pre-filled syringes with 2ml of 300mg/ 2ml. Depending on the dose needed, the patient can pay up to $59,000 annually to comply with the treatment.
This is the only antibody approved by the FDA to improve atopic dermatitis, although there are cheaper drugs to treat these conditions if you do not have insurance. If the patient has insurance, costs may vary depending on their coverage plan.
Is there a cheaper alternative to Dupixent?
If you are wondering why Dupixent is so expensive, the answer is that it is the only drug approved by the FDA. Unfortunately, there is no substitute drug for Dupixent, but there are some cheaper alternatives you may want to consider if your doctor allows it.
Also known as steroids, they are responsible for relieving skin redness, decreasing itching, and reducing inflammation. Steroids are natural substances regulated and produced by the body to control growth and immune function. Some of these topical corticosteroids are:
- Clobetasol propionate 0.05%. You can find them under their trade names such as Clobex, Olux-E, Temovate E, and Clobetasol propionate 0.05%
- Halobetasol propionate 0.05%. The trade name is Ultravate Cream
- Fluocinonide 0.1%. The trade name is Vanos Cream
Topical Calcineurin Inhibitors
Topical calcineurin inhibitors (TCI) reduce eczema flare-ups by preventing the part of the immune system that causes them from becoming active. They can be applied to any part of the affected skin with the following alternatives:
Topical PDE4 inhibitors
These take care of blocking phosphodiesterase 4, an enzyme that works in favor of the inflammation associated with eczema flare-ups. This dermatitis medication is approved for ages two and older:
Common and Serious Side Effects of Dupixent
Dupixent has common side effects, which are not usually of high alert, but it has some serious ones that you need to watch out for. We made a list of warning signs to watch out for when injecting the drug.
Common side effects
- Injection site reactions and symptoms can be:
- Eye and eyelid swelling, redness, itching, and blurred vision
- Sore throat
- Cold sores in the mouth or on the lips
- Joint pain
- Inflammation in the stomach lining
- High levels of white blood cells, responsible for fighting other diseases such as eosinophilia
Serious side effects
If you experience any of the serious side effects, we recommend that you call 911 quickly:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Loss of consciousness
- Sudden changes in vision
- Swelling of the face, mouth, tongue, or throat
Other serious side effects and their symptoms may include:
Severe allergic reaction:
- Swelling of the face, mouth, and tongue
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Fainting, dizziness, or lightheadedness
- Joint pain
- Difficulty swallowing
- Breathing problems
- General discomfort
- Eye pain
- Vision changes
Inflammation of blood vessels:
- Difficulty breathing
- Continuous fever
- Chest pain
- Numbness of the arms and legs