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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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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