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Can Nucala be self-administered?

Medically reviewed by Carmen Fookes, BPharm. Last updated on Sep 29, 2020.

Official Answer

by Drugs.com

Yes, Nucala can be self-administered. Nucala is available as a prefilled syringe or autoinjector that can be self-administered after a doctor has shown you how to administer it. 99% of people can successfully self-administer the Nucala prefilled syringe and 89-95% can successfully administer the Nucala autoinjector.

Nucala (mepolizumab) is approved as an add-on maintenance treatment for severe eosinophilic asthma in adults and children aged 6 and older. It is also approved for the treatment of adult patients with eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Churg-Strauss syndrome) and for the treatment of patients ≥12 years with hypereosinophilic syndrome (HES).

Nucala is formulated as a single-use prefilled syringe and autoinjector (an automatic injection). This means that with the appropriate training it can be self-administered or given to another person by a nonmedically-trained caregiver.

Nucala is usually given once a month. Initially, your doctor will administer it, but during your appointment, they will discuss teaching you how to administer it so that you can administer it at home. This will save you going into the doctor’s once a month.

Nine out of ten people reported that Nucala was very or extremely easy to use and 99% of people have been able to successfully administer the prefilled syringe and 89-95% the autoinjector.

If you don’t like needles, ask for the Nucala autoinjector because it can be administered without seeing the needle.

How is the Nucala prefilled syringe administered?

  1. Nucala needs to be stored in the refrigerator, so before using, take it out of the refrigerator, and leave it to warm up to room temperature for at least 30 minutes (but no longer than eight hours). Do not heat it in direct sunlight, the microwave or in hot water because this will ruin the medicine.
  2. Do not use the medicine if it is cloudy, has particles in it, or is passed its expiry date. The medicine should look clear to pale yellow or pale brown. It is normal for one or more air bubbles to be present.
  3. Nucala can be self-injected into the thighs or abdomen. If you are a caregiver administering Nucala to another person, it may also be administered into the upper arm. If you require 2 injections at a time, separate the administration sites by at least 2 inches. Wash your hands and clean the injection site with an alcohol swab.
  4. Pull off the gray needle cap from the prefilled syringe. Use your free hand to pinch the skin up around your injection site and insert the entire needle at a 45° angle into the pinched skin. Move your thumb to the white plunger and slowly push down on the plunger to inject your full dose. Make sure the plunger is completely down.
  5. Once your injection is complete, lift your thumb off the plunger and this will automatically make the needle retract out of your skin. There may be a small drop of blood at the injection site but this is normal. Do not rub your injection site. Do not put the clear cap back on the syringe. Throw the syringe away in an FDA-cleared sharps disposal container or another suitable sharps container.

How is the Nucala autoinjector administered?

  1. Nucala needs to be stored in the refrigerator, so before using, take it out of the refrigerator, and leave it to warm up to room temperature for at least 30 minutes (but no longer than eight hours). Do not heat it in direct sunlight, the microwave or in hot water because this will ruin the medicine.
  2. Do not use the medicine if it is cloudy, has particles in it, or is passed its expiry date. The medicine should look clear to pale yellow or pale brown. It is normal for one or more air bubbles to be present.
  3. Nucala can be self-injected into the thighs or abdomen. If you are a caregiver administering Nucala to another person, it may also be administered into the upper arm. If you require 2 injections at a time, separate the administration sites by at least 2 inches. Wash your hands and clean the injection site with an alcohol swab.
  4. Remove the clear needle cap from the end of the autoinjector by pulling it off. Do not touch the yellow needle guard on the end because this may set off the injection prematurely. Hold the autoinjector straight up and down (at a 90° angle) onto your preferred injection site.
  5. To start the injection push the autoinjector all the way down while holding it against your skin. You should hear a click to let you know the injection has started. Your injection may take up to 15 seconds to complete. Continue to hold it down until you hear a second click and the inspection window is filled with the yellow indicator. After you hear the second click, continue to hold it down for 5 more seconds.
  6. Remove the autoinjector. There may be a small drop of blood at the injection site but this is normal. Do not rub your injection site. Do not put the clear cap back on the autoinjector. Throw the autoinjector away in an FDA-cleared sharps disposal container or another suitable sharps container.
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