First-of-its-kind treatment shows ‘dramatic’ effect on children with eczema: ScienceAlert

Eczema (or atopic dermatitis) affects millions of people, especially children under the age of six.

The chronic inflammatory skin disorder causes the skin to become red and dry and itch and itch, making life very uncomfortable.

There is currently no cure for the condition, just ways to manage it – but existing medication is incredibly effective at reducing the signs and symptoms of eczema in moderate to severe cases of the disorder in children under the age of six. .

It’s a complicated first biologic drug This is how testing has been done on this age group.

drug under consideration dupilumab In a new study, 162 North American and European children between the ages of 6 months and 6 years with moderate to severe eczema were given dupilumab or a placebo over the course of 16 weeks.

More than half of the children given the drug saw a 75 percent reduction in symptom severity. The itching was significantly reduced, and the children could sleep better.

“Preschoolers who are constantly scratching, waking up multiple times a night with their parents, irritable and having markedly decreased ability to do things other children their age have improved to the extent that they sleep through the night, changing their personalities and leading a normal life – as babies and toddlers should.” Dermatologist Amy Paller says from Northwestern University in Illinois.

Dupilumab targets an important immune inflammatory pathway in allergies and is already used to treat eczema in older children and adults, as well as asthma, nasal polyps and other allergy-mediated problems.

So far, it hasn’t been confirmed to be safe or effective for people under the age of six. 19 percent This demographic is believed to have eczema, while 85-90 percent Most people who develop eczema early in their lives show their first symptoms before the age of five.

About a third of this age group with eczema has a moderate to severe case of the disorder, accompanied by itching that is debilitating: These children cannot sleep properly, which has all kinds of effects and consequences.

While immune-suppressing drugs such as oral steroids are often used for severe cases of eczema, there are concerns over their suitability for young children – both in terms of short-term side effects and long-term health complications, according to paller,

“The group in which we worry most about safety – those under five years of age – had not been tested and were unable to obtain [dupilumab], Pallar says, “For most of these young children the effect is dramatic and at least as good as what we’ve seen with riskier immunosuppressant drugs.”

Dupilumab already has a safety profile marked as “excellent”, and no further laboratory testing is necessary. It is now available for babies under 6 months old, and a parent or health care professional can administer the drug via a monthly shot.

In addition, researchers think it may also have a preventive effect. Because it takes such an aggressive approach to calming the immune system’s inflammatory response, there’s a good chance it may also protect against other allergic issues that develop later in life.

The researchers suggest that dupilumab may also prove useful in dealing with other health problems in young children – although further studies are necessary to establish how effective it may be.

“The ability to take this drug would significantly improve the quality of life for infants and young children who suffer greatly from this disease,” Pallar says,

“Atopic dermatitis or eczema is much more than just itchy skin. It is a devastating disease. The quality of life of severe eczema – not only for the child but also for the parent – ​​is on par with many life-threatening illnesses “

The research was sponsored by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Sanofi, who jointly developed dupilumab, and the study is published in the Lancet,

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