Resource Center: Asthma
Asthma is a complex disease characterized by airway inflammation and excess mucus production, which can lead to difficulty breathing.
Asthma may be triggered by many factors- one major trigger is allergies.
In the past, asthma has been treated with albuterol, a bronchodilator, which opens up the airways and often by inhaled corticosteroids which have anti-inflammatory properties.
What are new treatments for asthma?
There are many new biologic treatments for asthma. Biologic treatments target a specific molecule in the body and can block an inflammatory cascade that results in asthma.
- Omalizumab (Xolair)
Xolair binds IgE, an “allergy protein” in the body and inactivates it. It is indicated for patients with an elevated IgE level and year-round allergies.
It can be used on patients as young as 6 yrs old.
It is administered as a shot under the skin every 2-3 weeks.
- Mepolizumab (Nucala)
Indicated for patients ages 12+
Nucala targets eosinophils, a type of white blood cell that can be elevated in patients with asthma.
It is given as a shot under the skin every 4 weeks.
- Reslizumab (Cinqair)
Approved for patients age 18+
It binds IL-5 in the body, which is a chemical that helps eosinophils grow and mature
It is given as an infusion, in the vein, every 4 weeks.
- Benralizumab (Fasenra)
Fasenra is a medication used for eosinophilic asthma. It is approved for use in patients ages 12+
It is initially given under the skin every 4 weeks for the first 3 months and then every 8 weeks after that.
- Dupilumab (Dupixent)
This medication was initially approved for patients with eczema but now has been approved for asthma.
It inhibits IL-4 and IL-13 which blocks the inflammatory cascade leading to asthma.
It is approved for patients 6+.
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