Frequently Asked Questions about NUCALA1,2
- What is NUCALA?
NUCALA is a prescription medicine taken along with your existing asthma medication to help treat severe eosinophilic asthma in patients 12 years and over. NUCALA is not used to treat sudden breathing problems.
- What are the benefits of NUCALA?
Adding injections of NUCALA once every 4 weeks to current asthma medications can:
- Prevent severe asthma attacks. Studies have proven that NUCALA significantly reduced the occurrence of severe asthma attacks by more than half.
- Reduce the use of oral steroids. NUCALA is NOT a steroid, and when added to your asthma medication, it helps to reduce your use of steroids like prednisone while maintaining asthma control.
- Reduce emergency department visits and/or hospitalisations and the disruptions they cause.
- Why do I need to add NUCALA to my other asthma medications?
If your asthma is still uncontrolled even with your current high-dose daily medicines, you may not be treating one of the underlying causes of your kind of asthma: eosinophils. NUCALA is designed to target eosinophils. If your doctor decides that eosinophils are making your severe asthma worse, adding NUCALA to your current medications significantly reduces asthma attacks and your use of oral corticosteroids.
Your results may vary.
- Can I stop taking my other asthma medications while on NUCALA?
No. NUCALA was designed to work with your current asthma medications to reduce your asthma attacks. Don't make any changes in your medications without first speaking with your asthma specialist.
- What are the side effects of NUCALA?
NUCALA can cause serious side effects, including:
- allergic (hypersensitivity) reactions, including anaphylaxis. Serious allergic reactions can happen after you get your injection of NUCALA. Allergic reactions can sometimes happen hours or days after you get a dose of NUCALA. Tell your healthcare provider or get emergency help right away if you have any of the following symptoms of an allergic reaction:
- swelling of your face, mouth, and tongue
- breathing problems
- fainting, dizziness, feeling light-headed (low blood pressure)
- Herpes zoster infections that can cause shingles have happened in people who receive NUCALA.
The most common side effects of NUCALA include: headache, injection site reactions (pain, redness, swelling, itching, or a burning feeling at the injection site), back pain, and weakness (fatigue).
- What information should I share with my doctor before taking NUCALA?
Before receiving NUCALA, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:
- are taking oral or inhaled corticosteroid medicines. Do not stop taking your other asthma medicines, including your corticosteroid medicines, unless instructed by your healthcare provider because this may cause other symptoms to come back.
- have a parasitic (helminth) infection.
- are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if NUCALA may harm your unborn baby.
- are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. You and your healthcare provider should decide if you will use NUCALA and breastfeed. You should not do both without talking with your healthcare provider first.
- are taking prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Frequently Asked Questions about Severe Asthma
- What is severe asthma?
Your asthma may be considered severe if you take daily high-dose asthma medications (including high dose inhaled corticosteroids) and have a history of severe asthma attacks (also called exacerbations) that required oral steroids like prednisone. Those attacks may have been so severe that you needed to go to an emergency department or be hospitalised. Repeated asthma attacks also put you at greater risk of having future asthma attacks. That's why it's important for you to understand your asthma and work with your specialist to develop an asthma management plan. Learn more
- What are eosinophils?
Eosinophils [ee-uh-sin-uh-fils] are white blood cells that are a normal part of your immune system. When there are too many of them in your blood, they can worsen inflammation in your lungs. That can put you at greater risk for severe asthma attacks, also known as exacerbations.