Nucala

1 What is Nucala?

Brand: Nucala

Generic: Mepolizumab

Nucala is a monoclonal antibody. It is used to control severe asthma which is not controlled by other medications.

It works by reducing white blood cells which play important role in the symptoms of asthma.

It is available in a powder form for a solution and is given only by your doctor or under his/her supervision.

2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Nucala, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it.

Allergy

Inform your doctor if you are allergic to any food, preservatives, dyes, or had an allergic reaction when you used this drug before.

Children

There are no adequate studies done which prove Mepolizumab’s harmful effects in children older than 12 years of age. It is not expected to cause different effects than adults. However, safety and efficacy have not been established in children younger than 12 years of age.

Elderly

This medicine does not cause any different side effects or problem than it does in younger adults. However, it should be used with caution in a patient who has kidney, liver or heart diseases.

Pregnancy

It is not known if it can harm an unborn baby or not. There are no adequate studies done to prove its safety during pregnancy.

Breast Feeding

Mepolizumab is not known if it can pass into breast milk or not. If you are using it while nursing, discuss the potential risks with your doctor.

Drug Interactions

Mepolizumab may interact with other drugs. Your doctor should be informed of any other medicines which you are taking. He may want to change the dosage or drug.

Other Medical Conditions

Several other conditions may reduce its effectiveness. Make sure you inform your doctor of conditions such as,

  • Parasitic infections: Should be treated first before receiving this medicine.

3 Proper Usage

Proper usage of Nucala requires strict adherence to your doctor’s orders. It is given as an injection into your skin usually on the upper arm, abdomen, stomach or thigh once in every 4 weeks by your doctor or any trained health professional.

Read the medication guide carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any queries. Do not stop any other medication for asthma especially corticosteroids unless your doctor tells you so.

4 Precautions to Take

Before using Nucala, there are some precautions you must take. Your doctor should check your daily progress at regular visits.

He may want a blood or urine test to check for unwanted effects. This medicine can cause a serious allergic reaction.

Inform your doctor immediately if you have:

  • cough
  • rash
  • itching skin
  • large
  • hive-like swelling on face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, sex organs
  • trouble breathing
  • lightheadedness
  • dizziness
  • fainting

This medicine is known to cause herpes zoster infection (shingles). Before starting the treatment your doctor may want you to be vaccinated.

It is not a rescue medicine. It will not work fast enough to treat an asthma attack. Use only a fast acting inhalation medicine for an asthma attack. Tell your doctor if it seems like your asthma medications don't work as well.

5 Potential Side Effects

Make sure you meet with your doctor in using Nucala to avoid unwanted potential side effects.

Consult with your doctor if they become problematic or frequent:

More common are:

  • Headache
  • Feeling weak or tired
  • Back pain
  • Pain, swelling, redness, burning, or itching at injection site.

Less common are:

  • Unusual pain or tiredness;
  • Burning or tingling anywhere in your body;
  • Red or blistering skin rash.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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