1. What if I’m afraid of needles?
3. Are there side effects?
4. How much does it cost?
5. Will a biologic hamper my immune system?
2. How long does it take to work?
9. Will I have to take these medications forever?
8. Will I be able to afford this medication?
7. JAK inhibitors are still pretty new – are you sure they’re safe?
6. I read that JAK inhibitors increase the risk of blood clots. Should I be worried?
5. Can taking a JAK inhibitor cause cancer?
4. Why do I need to get certain vaccinations first?
3. Will taking a JAK inhibitor shut down my immune system?
2. If one JAK inhibitor doesn’t help me, does that mean none of them will?
1. Which JAK inhibitor is most likely to help me?
FAQs About Biologics for Atopic Dermatitis, Answered
You aren’t the only one who balks at the idea of giving yourself an injection. Many people are so satisfied with the results, though, that the benefits outweigh the negatives, says Kwatra. Your doctor will also give you instructions on how to use the syringe or pen, as well as how to store the medication.
Another benefit: Unlike other meds for atopic dermatitis, dupilumab doesn’t require blood work, which cuts down on injections aside from the biologic, he says.
Rare is the child who will willingly roll up their sleeve for an injection. And chances are, you aren’t looking forward to the jab, either. While an injection takes some getting used to, many parents are reassured by the fact that the medication is safe, seems to have few side effects, and is effective, says Vij.
Another bonus: The biologic doesn’t require frequent lab monitoring and blood draws — something that also requires needles — not to mention extra appointments, which can be time consuming, says Kwatra.
Your doctor will give you instructions on how to administer the injection, find the proper dosage, and store the medication.
1. What if my child is afraid of needles?
It can vary from person to person, but Vij says many of his patients see results in about 4 weeks.
There can be some side effects from using biologics for atopic dermatitis, but in general, there aren’t very many, says Vij. You may experience some pain or swelling around the injection site, for example.
You shouldn’t use dupilumab or tralokinumab-Idrm if you are allergic to the medication or any of the ingredients in the injection. (You can ask your pharmacist for a list of what’s in the medications).
List prices for biologics can run into the thousands of dollars, but many private and commercial health insurance plans cover this cost, says Kwatra. (Depending on what type of plan you have and whether you’ve met your deductible, you may have to pay a portion of the cost.)
For example, many people with Medicare may pay less than $100 a month for one of these medications, and people with Medicaid may pay less than $10 a month.
Even if you don’t have insurance, you may be eligible for a patient assistance program that can help you cover the costs.
Because biologics are so targeted, they don’t work on a broad level to suppress your immune system quite as much as an immunosuppressant does, says Vij.
“We think that people who are on a biologic — because we’re selectively interfering with their immune system, bringing it back to a more normal level — are actually probably not at higher risk for an infection,” says Vij.