Dupixent’s Side Effects: What to Know

Medically Reviewed By Alex Brewer, PharmD, MBA

Dupixent: Introduction

Dupixent is a brand-name prescription drug. It’s a type of drug called a monoclonal antibody, and it contains the active drug dupilumab.

This medication comes as a solution inside single-dose, prefilled pens and syringes. It’s given as a subcutaneous injection.

Dupixent is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat the conditions below in certain situations:

Doctors typically prescribe Dupixent for long-term use. Similar to other drugs, Dupixent injections may cause side effects. Read below for information about possible side effects, including common, mild, and serious ones.

For a general overview of Dupixent, including details about its uses, see this article.

If you’d like to take Dupixent, search here to find a healthcare professional who might prescribe it.

Dupixent: More common side effects

Some of Dupixent’s side effects may be more common than others. These side effects may last only a few days to weeks. However, some side effects may last longer or become severe or bothersome. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have concerns about any side effects with Dupixent.

Some of the more common side effects of Dupixent that occurred during clinical studies are listed below. These side effects can vary depending on the condition Dupixent is being used to treat.

Condition being treated More common side effects
chronic sinusitis with nasal polyps • high level of certain white blood cells called eosinophils
• injection site reaction, such as bruising or pain
insomnia
• eye-related problems*
pain in joints*
asthma • high level of certain white blood cells called eosinophils
• injection site reaction, such as itching, inflammation, or pain
• pain in the mouth or back of the throat
atopic dermatitis (a form of eczema) cold sores
• injection site reaction
• eye-related problems*

* For more information about this side effect, see “Dupixent: Side effects explained” below.

Dupixent: Mild side effects

Dupixent can cause mild side effects, which are listed below. However, this list doesn’t include all possible mild side effects. To learn more about Dupixent’s side effects, view the drug’s prescribing information.

Dupixent’s mild side effects include:

The side effects listed above may last only a few days to weeks. However, some side effects may last longer or become severe or bothersome. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have concerns about side effects with Dupixent.

Note: After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a drug, it tracks 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 more information about this side effect, see “Dupixent: Side effects explained” below.

Dupixent: Serious side effects

It’s possible to have serious side effects with Dupixent. Serious side effects are listed below, but this list may not include all possibilities. To learn more about Dupixent’s side effects, view the drug’s prescribing information.

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects with Dupixent. However, if you think you’re having a medical emergency or have life threatening side effects, call 911 or your local emergency number.

Serious side effects of Dupixent and their possible symptoms include:

* For more information about this side effect, see “Dupixent: Side effects explained” below.

Dupixent: Side effects in children

Dupixent is approved to treat asthma in children ages 12 years and older. It’s also approved to treat atopic dermatitis (a form of eczema) in children ages 6 years and older.

Most of Dupixent’s side effects in children are similar to those in adults.

However, rare cases of intestinal parasites were reported in clinical studies of children using Dupixent to treat asthma. No cases were reported in children using Dupixent to treat atopic dermatitis.

Intestinal parasites are parasites found in the intestines or digestive tract. Examples include tapeworms and pinworms.

Intestinal parasites may not cause any symptoms. However, possible symptoms that may occur include:

If your child has symptoms of an intestinal parasite while using Dupixent, tell their doctor. Doctors can order certain tests, such as blood tests, to check for parasites.

If they find intestinal parasites, doctors can decide if the infection will go away on its own or if treatment is needed. The child’s doctor can also advise if they should keep using Dupixent or switch to a different drug instead.

Dupixent: Common questions about side effects

Here are some common questions about the drug’s side effects and answers to them. Talk with your doctor if you have other questions about this drug.

Is weight gain or weight loss a side effect of Dupixent?

No. Weight changes weren’t reported as a side effect in clinical studies of Dupixent.

For certain conditions, Dupixent may be used in combination with corticosteroids. Prednisone (Rayos) is an example of a corticosteroid.

Weight gain is a common side effect of long-term corticosteroid use. So, you may gain weight while taking Dupixent in combination with these drugs. However, the weight gain could be caused by the corticosteroid rather than Dupixent.

Keep in mind that unexpected weight loss can be a symptom of an intestinal parasite. Rare cases of intestinal parasites were reported in clinical studies of children using Dupixent to treat asthma. To learn more, see the “Dupixent: Side effects in children” section above.

If you’re concerned about weight changes with Dupixent, talk with your doctor. They can suggest ways to maintain a body weight that’s healthy for you.

Are there reviews from people who have had side effects with Dupixent?

The manufacturer of Dupixent has published reviews from people who’ve used the drug. However, these reviews may not necessarily include information on side effects that people have had.

You can see these reviews on the manufacturer’s website for the conditions below:

Keep in mind that the effectiveness and safety of Dupixent can vary from person to person. To help decide if Dupixent is a good treatment option for you, it’s best to talk with your doctor.

Does Dupixent cause cancer?

No, Dupixent isn’t known to cause cancer. An increased risk of cancer wasn’t reported in clinical studies of the drug.

However, other drugs used to treat asthma can increase the risk of cancer. (Dupixent is approved to treat asthma.) An example is omalizumab (Xolair), which may increase the risk of skin, breast, and prostate cancer.

To learn more about cancer and Dupixent, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Should I expect fatigue during Dupixent treatment?

Fatigue wasn’t reported as a side effect in clinical studies of Dupixent.

However, fatigue can be related to the conditions Dupixent is used to treat. For example, fatigue can be a symptom of asthma. In addition, asthma and atopic dermatitis (a form of eczema) can cause insomnia, which may lead to fatigue.

In rare cases, Dupixent may also cause a high level of certain white blood cells called eosinophils. This can lead to vasculitis (inflammation of the blood vessels) and pneumonia. And fatigue is a possible symptom of this side effect.

If you have fatigue while using Dupixent, talk with your doctor. They can help determine what’s causing it and suggest ways to ease your symptoms.

Will I develop a rash or hair loss with Dupixent?

Hair loss wasn’t reported as a side effect in clinical studies of Dupixent. Rash is possible with Dupixent. However, rash may occur as a symptom of another side effect or as a symptom of the condition you’re treating.

Specifically, rash can be a symptom of atopic dermatitis (a form of eczema), which Dupixent is used to treat. Rash can also be a symptom of allergic reaction or a high level of certain white blood cells called eosinophils. These are rare side effects of Dupixent.

In addition, there have been a few reports of facial rash since Dupixent was approved for use. However, it’s not known for sure whether this was due to Dupixent or caused by another factor.

There have been rare reports of hair loss since Dupixent became available for the public to use. However, it isn’t known for sure if Dupixent was the cause. To learn more, see this 2018 report and this 2020 report.

If you’re concerned about rash or hair loss with Dupixent, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can advise on your risk of these symptoms and ways to manage them if they happen.

Will I have long-term side effects with Dupixent?

Most side effects of Dupixent are expected to be short term. They typically go away on their own after your body gets used to the drug. This may take a few days or weeks.

However, certain side effects of Dupixent may lead to long-term complications. For example, Dupixent may cause keratitis. Keratitis is inflammation of the cornea, which is the layer that covers the colored part of the eye. If this condition is severe or untreated, it can lead to vision loss.

To learn more about what to expect with side effects of Dupixent, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Dupixent: Side effects explained

Here’s detailed information about some of Dupixent’s side effects.

Eye-related problems

Eye-related problems are possible with Dupixent. These are also known as ocular side effects. 

Below are eye-related problems that were commonly reported in clinical studies of Dupixent:

Conjunctivitis, keratitis, and blepharitis can cause similar symptoms, such as eye pain, red eyes, and watery eyes. Other symptoms include a gritty feeling in the eyes and sensitivity to light.

What to do

If you have symptoms of eye-related problems while taking Dupixent, talk with your doctor as soon as possible. Certain eye-related problems can lead to long-term issues if they’re severe or untreated. For example, severe or untreated keratitis can lead to vision loss.

Your doctor will likely check your eyes. They may also recommend the best treatment option to manage any eye-related side effects that you may have. For example, your doctor may suggest using eye drops if you have dry eyes.

Pain in joints

Pain in joints may occur with Dupixent. This was one of the more common side effects in clinical studies of people taking Dupixent to treat chronic sinusitis with nasal polyps. It wasn’t reported by people taking Dupixent to treat asthma or atopic dermatitis (a form of eczema).

With joint pain, you may have trouble moving around or walking. In rare cases, you may have joint pain that’s so severe it requires treatment in a hospital.

Pain in joints may occur days to months after you start taking Dupixent. This side effect may go away while you’re taking the drug or soon after you stop taking it.

What to do

If you have pain in your joints while taking Dupixent, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can suggest ways to help ease your symptoms. For example, they may recommend applying cold or hot packs to the affected joints.

However, if your symptoms seem severe, call your doctor right away. They can advise if your condition may need to be treated in the hospital.

Gastritis

Gastritis may occur with Dupixent. This was one of the more common side effects in clinical studies of people taking Dupixent to treat chronic sinusitis with nasal polyps. It wasn’t reported by people taking Dupixent to treat asthma or atopic dermatitis (a form of eczema).

Gastritis is inflammation of the stomach lining. Possible symptoms of this condition include:

What to do

If you have symptoms of gastritis with Dupixent, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can recommend ways to help ease your symptoms.

For example, they may suggest taking an antacid, such as sodium bicarbonate (Alka-Seltzer) or calcium carbonate (Tums).

Your doctor can also advise if you should switch from Dupixent to a different treatment option.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, some people can have an allergic reaction after taking Dupixent. A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible.

Possible symptoms of mild and serious allergic reactions are listed in the table below.

Mild allergic reaction symptoms Serious allergic reaction symptoms
• itching trouble breathing
rash • swelling in your throat or mouth
flushing • swelling under your skin, possibly in your hands, feet, lips, or eyelids

If you have an allergic reaction to Dupixent, call your doctor right away. This is important to do because the reaction could become severe.

However, if you’re having a medical emergency or your symptoms feel life threatening, call 911 or a local emergency number.

Dupixent: Precautions

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

The conditions and factors to consider include those described below.

Intestinal parasites. Doctors may check for intestinal parasites* using certain tests, such as blood tests, before you start Dupixent treatment. (Intestinal parasites are parasites found in the intestines or digestive tract. Examples include tapeworms and pinworms.) If intestinal parasites are found, doctors will likely treat the infection before having you begin Dupixent treatment.  

Eye conditions. Before taking Dupixent, tell your doctor if you have any eye conditions. The drug may cause eye-related problems, which could worsen your condition. (For examples of eye-related problems from Dupixent, see “Dupixent: Side effects explained” section above.) Your doctor can advise if it’s safe for you to use Dupixent.

Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Dupixent or any of its ingredients, your doctor will likely not prescribe Dupixent. Ask your doctor what other medications may be better options for you.

* Rare cases of intestinal parasites were reported in clinical studies of children using Dupixent to treat asthma. For more details, see the “Dupixent: Side effects in children” section above.

Consuming alcohol during Dupixent treatment

There aren’t any known interactions between alcohol and Dupixent.

If you drink alcohol, talk with your doctor about the amount that’s safe to drink while using Dupixent.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding during Dupixent treatment

It’s not known if Dupixent is safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding.

If you use Dupixent while pregnant, consider enrolling in the drug’s pregnancy registry. This registry collects information about the safety of Dupixent when used during pregnancy. For more information, call 877-311-8972. You can also visit the registry’s website or talk with your doctor.

If you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning either, talk with your doctor. They can discuss the risks and benefits of using Dupixent during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

Dupixent: What to discuss with your doctor

Talk with your doctor or pharmacist to find out more information about Dupixent. If you have questions about the drug’s side effects, your pharmacist or healthcare professional can help answer them for you.

In addition to discussing Dupixent with your doctor, you may find the following articles helpful in learning more.

Disclaimer: Healthgrades 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.

Medical Reviewer: Alex Brewer, PharmD, MBA
Last Review Date: 2022 Apr 15
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.