Eczema sufferers offered new hope

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A new medication may improve signs and symptoms of severe eczema, according to the findings of two Phase III clinical trials published on 1st October in the New England Journal of Medicine.

A multi-institutional research team conducted the trials (SOLO1 and SOLO2) to test the effects of dupilumab (Regeneron / Sanofi) among 671 and 708 (respectively) participants with severe eczema.

For 14 weeks, participants received dupilumab (300mg/w), placebo or alternate weekly dupilumab and placebo. The primary outcome was the proportion of participants achieving a score of 0 or 1 (clear or almost clear) on the Investigator’s Global Assessment and a 2+ point reduction in that score from baseline at week 16.

The findings from SOLO1 and SOLO2 showed primary outcome occurred in 38% and 36% of participants who received dupilumab on alternate weeks and in 37% and 36% of those who received it weekly, vs 10% and 8% of placebo group, respectively.

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Most patients who got the active drug, dupilumab, instead of a placebo reported that the itching began to wane within two weeks and was gone in a few months, as their skin began to clear. Nearly 40% of participants getting the drug saw all or almost all of their rash disappear.

The drug blocks two specific molecules of the immune system that are overproduced in patients with this and some other allergic diseases. The only side-effects were a slight increase in conjunctivitis, an inflammation of the outer membrane of the eye and swelling at the injection site.

Eczema & psoriasis is one of the categories covered in our round-up of OTC skin care treatments that are being published in the September and October editions of all four OTC INSIGHT titles.

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