Medically reviewed on September 3, 2018
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
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. It is also used to treat eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA) in adults.
Mepolizumab is to be given only by or under the direct 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:
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.
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.
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.
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. It 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 a patient information leaflet. Read and follow the instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have questions.
Precautions While Using mepolizumab
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that mepolizumab is working properly and to check for unwanted effects.
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
- 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
- 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:
- 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
- Back pain
- bladder pain
- bloody or cloudy urine
- difficult, burning, or painful urination
- frequent urge to urinate
- general feeling of discomfort or illness
- joint pain
- loss of appetite
- lower back or side pain
- muscle aches, pains, or spasms
- runny nose
- skin rash, encrusted, scaly, and oozing
- sore throat
- trouble sleeping
- upper abdominal or stomach pain
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)
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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