Nucala Side Effects
Generic name: mepolizumab
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on May 6, 2022.
Note: This document contains side effect information about mepolizumab. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Nucala.
More frequent side effects include: injection site reaction. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.
For the Consumer
Applies to mepolizumab: subcutaneous powder for solution, subcutaneous solution
Side effects requiring immediate medical attention
Along with its needed effects, mepolizumab (the active ingredient contained in Nucala) 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 immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking mepolizumab:
Incidence not known
- Blurred vision
- chest tightness
- difficulty with breathing
- dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
- fast heartbeat
- 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
- unusual tiredness or weakness
Side effects not requiring immediate medical attention
Some side effects of mepolizumab 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:
- Back pain
- bleeding, blistering, burning, coldness, discoloration of the 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
- difficulty in moving
- joint pain
- muscle pain or stiffness
- sore throat
- Bladder pain
- bloody or cloudy urine
- difficult, burning, or painful urination
- frequent urge to urinate
- general feeling of discomfort or illness
- loss of appetite
- lower back or side pain
- muscle aches or spasms
- runny nose
- skin rash, encrusted, scaly, and oozing
- trouble sleeping
- upper abdominal or stomach pain
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to mepolizumab: subcutaneous powder for injection, subcutaneous solution
The more commonly reported side effects were headache, injection site reactions, and back pain.[Ref]
Very common (10% or more): Headache (up to 19%)
Frequency not reported: Dizziness[Ref]
Dizziness occurred in at least 3% of patients treated with this drug in a controlled, long-term clinical study.[Ref]
Common (1% to 10%): Systemic non-allergic/administration-related reactions (including rash, flushing, myalgia), systemic/hypersensitivity reactions (including rash, pruritus, headache, myalgia)
Many systemic reactions occurred on the day of dosing. Systemic reactions occurred in 10% of patients treated with this drug compared to 7% of placebo-treated patients. Non-allergic reactions occurred in 2% of patients given this drug versus 3% of patients with placebo; allergic systemic reactions occurred in 1% and 2% of patients given this drug or placebo, respectively.
Allergic rhinitis occurred in at least 3% of patients treated with this drug in a controlled, long-term clinical study.[Ref]
Injection site reactions occurred in 8% and 3% of patients given this drug or placebo, respectively. The reactions more commonly occurred within the first 3 injections, with a decrease in frequency on subsequent injections.[Ref]
Common (1% to 10%): Influenza, anti-mepolizumab (the active ingredient contained in Nucala) antibody formation
Frequency not reported: Viral infection[Ref]
In a clinical trial, 6% of patients developed anti-mepolizumab antibodies; these antibodies were shown to slightly increase drug clearance, but the clinical relevance is unknown.
Viral infection occurred in at least 3% of patients treated with this drug in a controlled, long-term clinical study.[Ref]
Common (1% to 10%): Pruritus, eczema
Rash and herpes zoster occurred in at least 3% of patients treated with this drug in a controlled, long-term clinical study.[Ref]
Musculoskeletal pain occurred in at least 3% of patients treated with this drug in a controlled, long-term clinical study.[Ref]
Common (1% to 10%): Back pain, muscle spasms
Frequency not reported: Musculoskeletal pain, myalgia[Ref]
Common (1% to 10%): Upper abdominal pain
Gastroenteritis, abdominal pain, nausea, toothache, and vomiting occurred in at least 3% of patients treated with this drug in a controlled, long-term clinical study.[Ref]
Asthenia, ear infection, and pyrexia occurred in at least 3% of patients treated with this drug in a controlled, long-term clinical study.[Ref]
Common (1% to 10%): Fatigue, pyrexia
Frequency not reported: Asthenia, ear infection[Ref]
Common (1% to 10%): Urinary tract infection[Ref]
Bronchitis, dyspnea, lower respiratory tract infection, nasal congestion, nasopharyngitis, pharyngitis, and viral respiratory tract infection occurred in at least 3% of patients treated with this drug in a controlled, long-term clinical study.[Ref]
Frequency not reported: Cystitis[Ref]
Frequently asked questions
- How long does it take for Nucala to work?
- Can Nucala cause weight gain?
- Can Nucala be self-administered?
- What is Nucala (mepolizumab) used for and how is it given?
More about Nucala (mepolizumab)
- Drug interactions
- Dosage information
- During pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Reviews (72)
- Patient tips
- Pricing & coupons
- En español
- Drug class: interleukin inhibitors
- FDA approval history
- Drug Information
- Nucala (Advanced Reading)
- Nucala (Mepolizumab Auto-Injectors and Prefilled Syringes)
- Nucala (Mepolizumab Vials)
Related treatment guides
1. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0
2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0
3. "Product Information. Nucala (mepolizumab)." GlaxoSmithKline (2015):
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.