Generic Name: mepolizumab (MEP oh LIZ ue mab)
Brand Name: Nucala
What is mepolizumab?
Mepolizumab is a monoclonal antibody that affects the actions of the body's immune system. Mepolizumab works by reducing levels of a certain type of white blood cell that may contribute to the symptoms of asthma.
Mepolizumab is used together with other medicines to help control severe asthma in adults and children who are at least 12 years old.
Mepolizumab may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about mepolizumab?
Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using mepolizumab?
You should not use mepolizumab if you are allergic to it.
To make sure mepolizumab is safe for you, tell your doctor if:
you also use steroid asthma medication;
you have a history of parasite infection (such as roundworms or tapeworms);
you have a history of herpes zoster (also called shingles); or
you have never had chickenpox or received a chickenpox (varicella) vaccine.
You may be given a zoster vaccine before you start using mepolizumab.
It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry. This is to track the outcome of the pregnancy and to evaluate any effects of mepolizumab on the baby.
It is not known whether mepolizumab passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Mepolizumab is not approved for use by anyone younger than 12 years old.
How is mepolizumab given?
Before you start treatment with mepolizumab, your doctor may perform tests to measure your levels of a certain type of white blood cell (eosinophils).
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Mepolizumab is injected under the skin once every 4 weeks. You may be shown how to use injections at home. Do not give yourself this medicine if you do not understand how to use the injection and properly dispose of used needles and syringes.
Mepolizumab is not a rescue medicine. It will not work fast enough to treat an asthma attack. Use only a fast acting inhalation medicine for an asthma attack. Tell your doctor if it seems like your asthma medications don't work as well.
Mepolizumab is a powder medicine that must be mixed with a liquid (diluent) before using it. If you are using the injections at home, be sure you understand how to properly mix and store the medicine.
Gently swirl but do not shake the mixed medicine. Prepare your dose only when you are ready to give an injection. Do not use if the medicine has changed colors or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medicine.
Each single-use vial (bottle) of this medicine is for one use only. Throw away after one use, even if there is still some medicine left in it after injecting your dose.
Use a disposable needle and syringe only once. Follow any state or local laws about throwing away used needles and syringes. Use a puncture-proof "sharps" disposal container (ask your pharmacist where to get one and how to throw it away). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.
If you also use a steroid medication, do not stop using it suddenly or you may have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Talk with your doctor about tapering your steroid dose before stopping completely.
Store unmixed mepolizumab at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
After mixing this medicine, store it at room temperature and use within 8 hours. Do not freeze.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Call your doctor for instructions if you miss a dose of mepolizumab.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while using mepolizumab?
Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.
Mepolizumab side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; feeling like you might pass out; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
unusual pain or tiredness;
burning or tingling anywhere in your body; or
a red or blistering skin rash.
Common side effects may include:
feeling weak or tired;
back pain; or
pain, swelling, redness, burning, or itching where the medicine was injected.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect mepolizumab?
Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:
an oral (taken by mouth) or inhaled steroid medicine.
Other drugs may interact with mepolizumab, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about mepolizumab.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
- Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
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