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How long does it take for Nucala to work?

Medically reviewed by Carmen Fookes, BPharm Last updated on Apr 14, 2020.

Official Answer

by Drugs.com
  • Nucala starts working within 48 hours.
  • In asthma, the greatest reductions in eosinophils were seen with higher dosages, for example, a 64% reduction in eosinophils was seen with a 12.5mg SC dose and a 90% reduction was seen with a 250mg SC dose after 48 hours.
  • The maximum effect of Nucala for both asthma and EGPA was seen after 4 weeks.
  • This corresponded to an 84% reduction in eosinophils in adults (100mg SC dose) and an 85% reduction in children (40mg SC dose) for those with asthma, and an 83% reduction in adults with EGPA.

Nucala (mepolizumab) is a biologic that is administered by subcutaneous injection once every four weeks.

It is approved for severe eosinophilic asthma in adults and children aged 12 and older as well as for adults with EGPA (eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis).

  • Eosinophilic asthma is a subtype of asthma that is characterized by high numbers of eosinophils in the blood. Eosinophils are a type of white blood cell and this type of asthma affects 5% of all asthmatics.
  • EGPA is a rare condition characterized by inflamed blood vessels, which is also known as Churg-Strauss syndrome.

In trials of people with eosinophilic asthma:

  • Reductions in blood eosinophils were seen within 48 hours of a dose of mepolizumab for all treatment doses
  • Greater eosinophil reductions were seen with higher mepolizumab dosages, for example, 64% with a 12.5mg SC dose, 78% for a 75mg dose, and 90% with a 250mg SC dose
  • After treatment with Nucala 100mg SC every 4 weeks, blood eosinophils showed an average reduction of 84% (down to 40 cells/mcL) in adults
  • After treatment with Nucala 40mg SC every 4 weeks, blood eosinophils showed an average reduction of and 85% (down to 48 cells/mcL) in children aged 6 to 11 years.
  • The greatest effect was seen after 4 weeks of treatment and this was maintained throughout the treatment period.

In trials of people with EGPA blood eosinophil levels were reduced by 83% (down to 38 cells/mcL) with mepolizumab 300mg every 4 weeks. 

References
  • Nucala (mepolizumab). Sep 1, 2019. GlaxoSmithKline LLC https://www.drugs.com/pro/nucala.html

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