Atopic dermatitis is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that can occur both in childhood and in adults and the elderly. It is also commonly called constitutional eczema and is manifested by the sudden formation of dry, itchy skin and red blotches with blisters.

In Italy about 35,000 people suffer from this disease, out of which 8,000 suffer from a severe form. A few months after the authorization by Aifa, a new drug for the treatment of atopic dermatitis has been on the market. Prof. Antonio Costanzo, head of the Dermatology Unit of the Humanitas Clinical Institute, spoke about it in an interview.


Dupilumab, a new solution

Dupilumab, recognized a few months ago by the Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA) as one of the innovative drugs, is the first biological and non-oncological drug indicated for the treatment of adult patients with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis.

The drug promises to improve the quality of life of patients and to lighten the patients’ discomfort, in particular the severe itching and lesions that occur in different parts of the body, already after the first administration.


How is it administered?

“We talk about subcutaneous injections to be carried out every 15 days – explained Antonio Costanzo, head of the Dermatology Unit of the Humanitas Clinical Institute. The balance on the effectiveness of the drug in the patient is made after 12-16 weeks, but often those who suffer from the disease notice the first significant improvements already after a month,” he clarified.

The drug, which is a monoclonal antibody, “is specifically designed to simultaneously inhibit the signaling of interleukins 4 and 13, key inflammatory factors – explained Costanzo. This allows to quickly obtain and maintain significant improvements on the three dimensions of atopic dermatitis over time: injury, itching and quality of life,” concluded the professor.