Management of inadequate response and adverse effects to dupilumab in atopic dermatitis

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology




alopecia; arthritis; atopic dermatitis; confounders; conjunctivitis; dupilumab; facial dermatitis; facial erythema; psoriasis; treatment failure


Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic inflammatory skin disease characterized by pruritus, skin pain, and sleep disturbances. Currently, dupilumab is the only systemic therapy and biologic medication approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for moderate-to-severe AD in adults and children. There is a sparsity of literature available on determining treatment failure with dupilumab and the next steps health care providers can take to treat AD. Individual goals and quality of life and not just body surface area should be considered when defining treatment failure. Possible confounding dermatoses also should be ruled out. Early identification of dupilumab-induced adverse events is important. For most patients, dupilumab can be continued while treatment for the adverse event is initiated. Adjusting the frequency of dupilumab dosing also may be considered in some circumstances. Adjuvant therapies, such as methotrexate, azathioprine, mycophenolate mofetil, cyclosporine, or phototherapy can be added but the safety and efficacy of these combination treatments are not known at this time.