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Health Guide

Mepolizumab (Subcutaneous route)

Pronunciation:

me-poe-LIZ-ue-mab

Brand Names:

  • Nucala

Dosage Forms:

  • Powder for Solution

Classifications:

Therapeutic—

Antiasthma

Pharmacologic—

Monoclonal Antibody

Uses of This Medicine:

Mepolizumab injection is used with other medicines to treat severe asthma. It is given to patients whose asthma is not controlled with their current asthma medicines.

This medicine is to be given only by or under the supervision of your doctor.

Before Using This Medicine:

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies—

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Children—

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of mepolizumab injection in children younger than 12 years of age. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Older adults—

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of mepolizumab injection in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney, liver, or heart problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving mepolizumab injection.

Breast-feeding—

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Other medicines—

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Other interactions—

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other medical problems—

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

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

Proper Use of This Medicine:

A doctor or other trained health professional will give you this medicine. This medicine is given as a shot under your skin, usually on the upper arms, abdomen or stomach, or thigh once every 4 weeks.

This medicine comes with patient information leaflet. It is very important that you read and understand this information. Be sure to ask your doctor about anything you do not understand.

Precautions While Using This Medicine:

If you will be using this medicine for a long time, it is very important that your doctor check you at regular visits for any problems or unwanted effects that may be caused by this medicine.

Serious allergic reactions may occur after receiving this medicine. Tell your doctor right away if you have the following symptoms: cough, rash, itching skin, large, hive-like swelling on face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, sex organs, trouble breathing, lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting.

This medicine will not stop an asthma attack that has already started. Your doctor may prescribe another medicine for you to use in case of an asthma attack.

This medicine may lead to herpes zoster infection (shingles). You may receive a vaccine before you start treatment. Tell your doctor if you have not had either chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine.

If you use a corticosteroid medicine (inhaled or taken by mouth) to control your asthma, keep using it unless your doctor tells you otherwise.

Side Effects of This Medicine:

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Incidence not known
Blurred vision
confusion
cough
difficulty with breathing
dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
hives or welts, itching, or skin rash
large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
noisy breathing
painful blisters on the trunk of the body
redness of the skin
sweating
tightness in the chest
unusual tiredness or weakness

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
Bleeding, blistering, burning, coldness, discoloration of skin, feeling of pressure, hives, infection, inflammation, itching, lumps, numbness, pain, rash, redness, scarring, soreness, stinging, swelling, tenderness, tingling, ulceration, or warmth at the injection site
headache
Less common
Back pain
bladder pain
bloody or cloudy urine
chills
cough
diarrhea
difficult, burning, or painful urination
fever
frequent urge to urinate
general feeling of discomfort or illness
joint pain
loss of appetite
lower back or side pain
muscle aches and pains
muscle spasms
nausea
runny nose
shivering
skin rash, encrusted, scaly, and oozing
sore throat
sweating
trouble sleeping
upper abdominal or stomach pain
vomiting

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Last Updated: 7/4/2017
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