This sheet is about exposure to dupilumab in pregnancy and while breastfeeding. This information should not take the place of medical care and advice from your healthcare providers.
What is dupilumab?
Dupilumab is a medication that has been used to treat adults with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis (eczema), asthma, and eosinophilic esophagitis (chronic inflammation of the tube connecting the mouth to the stomach). It is sold under the brand name Dupixent®.
I take dupilumab. Can it make it harder for me to get pregnant?
Human studies have not been done to see if dupilumab could make it harder to get pregnant.
I just found out I am pregnant. Should I stop taking dupilumab?
Talk with your healthcare providers before making any changes to how you take this medication. They can go over your options, weighing the risks and benefits of treating or not treating your condition with dupilumab. Untreated asthma has been associated with pregnancy complications. For more information about asthma, please see the MotherToBaby fact sheet at https://mothertobaby.org/fact-sheets/asthma-and-pregnancy/.
Does taking dupilumab increase the chance for miscarriage?
Miscarriage can occur in any pregnancy. Dupilumab has not been well studied for use in pregnancy. Based on the data available, dupilumab has not been associated with a greater chance of miscarriage.
Does taking dupilumab increase the chance of birth defects?
Every pregnancy starts out with a 3-5% chance of having a birth defect. This is called the background risk. There are no human studies looking at exposure to dupilumab during pregnancy. However, there are case reports on less than 20 pregnancies, with no birth defects reported in the majority of cases. In addition, experimental animal studies done by the manufacturer did not show an increase in birth defects with exposure to dupilumab.
Could taking dupilumab cause other pregnancy complications?
It is not known if dupilumab can cause pregnancy complications. There are no human studies looking at exposure to dupilumab during pregnancy. A few case reports where dupilumab was taken during pregnancy resulted in livebirths with no pregnancy complications noted.
Does taking dupilumab in pregnancy cause long-term problems in behavior or learning for the baby?
Based on the available data, it is not known if dupilumab can cause long-term problems in behavior or learning.
Can I breastfeed while taking dupilumab?
Dupliumab has not been well studied for use while breastfeeding. Dupilumab is a very large protein, so not much is expected to pass into breast milk, and any that does get into the breast milk is unlikely to be absorbed beyond the infant’s gastrointestinal tract (stomach and intestines). There is 1 case report on the use of use of dupilumab while breastfeeding with no complications noted during the first 4 months of breastfeeding. Because there is limited data, some sources have recommended that dupilumab be used with caution if breastfeeding. Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about all of your breastfeeding questions.
I take dupilumab. Can it make it harder for me to get my partner pregnant or increase the chance of birth defects?
There are no human studies looking at possible risks to a pregnancy from semen exposed to dupilumab. Experimental animal studies did not report lower fertility when dupilumab was used. In general, exposures that fathers or sperm donors have are unlikely to increase the risks to a pregnancy. For more information, please see the MotherToBaby fact sheet Paternal Exposures at https://mothertobaby.org/fact-sheets/paternal-exposures-pregnancy/.
MotherToBaby is currently conducting a study looking at dupilumab and other medications used to treat asthma / autoimmune disorders in pregnancy. If you are interested in learning more, please call 1-877-311-8972 or visit https://mothertobaby.org/join-study.
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OTIS/MotherToBaby recognizes that not all people identify as “men” or “women.” When using the term “mother,” we mean the source of the egg and/or uterus and by “father,” we mean the source of the sperm, regardless of the person’s gender identity.