FAQs: Switching from Dupixent® (dupilumab) to Herbal Medicine
Many eczema patients have been using the new biologic, Dupixent® (dupilumab). Some patients see great results with these drugs but some experience negative side effects. Those who see major negative side effects realize that long-term usage is not viable, so they start looking for another solution. It is very common for me to meet new patients at this juncture.
As there are more and more patients coming to this crossroad, I thought it would be helpful to share in this edition of our newsletter the commonly asked questions and their answers. Hopefully, this will help anyone who is facing this decision.
Do I stop using Dupixent® (dupilumab) before coming to Amethyst?
No. It’s typically not a good idea to stop Dupixent® (dupilumab) injections abruptly. As such, Amethyst treats patients while they are still getting injections.
How do we start?
Once you decide you are ready to begin the process of weaning off Dupixent® (dupilumab), you will meet with your Amethyst herbalist for a full medical history intake. This helps us understand how your eczema story has unfolded, how it presented before taking the pharmaceuticals and the general state of your current health.
Based upon the intake findings, we will prescribe a customized herbal formula to bolster your system in preparation for the weaning process while also hedging the symptoms that are likely to reappear.
How often will my Amethyst appointments be?
In general, you can expect to meet with your Amethyst herbalist every 2 weeks. However, the frequency of appointments will vary depending upon your response. We do our best to see patients who find they need more frequent attention.
How do we wean off Dupixent® (dupilumab)?
Once you have taken the initial herbal formula for a few weeks, we will work with your doctor to begin the weaning process by steadily increasing the time between injections. For example, we’ll move from every 2 weeks to every 3 weeks, then to every 4 weeks, etc.
Each time the spacing of the injections changes, our appointments will be used to assess your response and adjust your herbal formula to meet any new needs. We may also add ingredients to anticipate any needed support before the next decrease of dosage.
The goal of treatment is to keep your skin as stable as possible. When your skin appears ready for the next change, we will work with your doctor to move the next injection further out and continue in this manner until you’re ready to stop taking the injections altogether.
What can I expect?
This a very difficult question to answer since everyone responds incredibly different. The best way to approach this is to allow the process to unfold however it will for you, Amethyst will do our best to support you all along the way.
What happens after the weaning off process?
After the weaning process, the herbal medicine treatment will be adjusted to address whatever remains of your eczema. The goal at this point is to promote complete healing of the body and healthy skin. Once that is achieved, most patients find that they don’t need any further medicines, herbal or otherwise.
Have more questions?
If you have any additional questions, feel free to set-up a complimentary consultationwhere we can talk more about your specific concerns. Amethyst sees people in office and via video conference call so we can treat anyone in the contiguous United States.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Olivia Hsu Friedman is the owner of Amethyst Holistic Skin Solutions and sees patients all over the nation in person and via video conferencing. She holds a TCM Dermatology Diploma and a position on the internationally recognized Register of Chinese Medicine Dermatology (RCMDerm). Additionally, she received a Diplomate in Oriental Medicine (Dipl.OM) from the National Certification Commission of Oriental Medicine and is a licensed Illinois acupuncturist (LAc). Olivia earned a Master of Science in Oriental Medicine (MSOM) from National University of Health Sciences, graduated Summa Cum Laude and was awarded the Joseph Janse Outstanding Graduate Award.
Outside of the office, Olivia serves as the Vice President of the Illinois Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and is also one of two Illinois delegates to the American Society of Acupuncturists.