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mepolizumab (Subcutaneous route)

me-poe-LIZ-ue-mab

Commonly used brand name(s)

In the U.S.

  • Nucala

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Powder for Solution

Therapeutic Class: Antiasthma

Pharmacologic Class: Monoclonal Antibody

Uses For mepolizumab

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.

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

Before Using mepolizumab

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 mepolizumab, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to mepolizumab 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.

Pediatric

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.

Geriatric

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.

Interactions with 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.

Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol

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 mepolizumab. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Parasitic infections—Should be treated first before receiving mepolizumab.

Proper Use of mepolizumab

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

mepolizumab 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 mepolizumab

If you will be using mepolizumab 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 mepolizumab.

Serious allergic reactions may occur after receiving mepolizumab. 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.

mepolizumab 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.

mepolizumab 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.

mepolizumab Side Effects

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.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

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