Mepolizumab

Adult Medication

This information from Lexicomp® explains what you need to know about this medication, including what it’s used for, how to take it, its side effects, and when to call your healthcare provider.

Brand Names: US

Nucala

Brand Names: Canada

Nucala

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to treat asthma.
  • It is used to treat eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA).

For asthma:

  • Do not use this drug to treat an asthma attack. Use a rescue inhaler. Talk with your doctor.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take this drug?

  • If you are allergic to this drug; any part of this drug; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.

This drug may interact with other drugs or health problems.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take this drug?

All products:

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take this drug. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Call your doctor right away if your breathing problems get worse.
  • If you use a rescue inhaler, call your doctor right away if your rescue inhaler does not work as well or if you need to use it more often.
  • Allergic reactions have happened with this drug. Most of the time, allergic reactions happen within hours after this drug was given. Sometimes, they can happen days after this drug was given. Talk with the doctor.
  • Herpes zoster (shingles) has happened with this drug. Talk with the doctor to see if a vaccine is needed before getting this drug.
  • Some people at high risk for parasite infections have gotten a parasite infection after taking this drug. Your doctor may test your stool to see if you have a parasite infection. Talk with your doctor.
  • If you are also taking an oral or inhaled steroid, talk with your doctor. Do not stop taking it without talking with your doctor.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on getting pregnant, or are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks to you and the baby.

Auto-injector shot and prefilled syringes:

  • Do not share pen or cartridge devices with another person even if the needle has been changed. Sharing these devices may pass infections from one person to another. This includes infections you may not know you have.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Dizziness or passing out.
  • Very bad headache.
  • Flushing.
  • Feeling hot or cold.
  • Shortness of breath.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Headache.
  • Back pain.
  • Feeling tired or weak.
  • Redness or swelling where the shot is given.
  • Pain or burning where the drug was used.
  • Irritation where the shot is given.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best taken?

Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

All products:

  • It is given as a shot into the fatty part of the skin on the top of the thigh, belly area, or upper arm.

Auto-injector shot and prefilled syringes:

  • If you will be giving yourself the shot, your doctor or nurse will teach you how to give the shot.
  • Wash your hands before and after use.
  • To make the injection feel better, take this drug out of the refrigerator and allow it to sit at room temperature for up to 30 minutes before use. Do not remove the cap or cover. Do not heat this drug.
  • Do not shake.
  • Do not give into tender, bruised, red, or hard skin.
  • Do not give into skin within 2 inches of the belly button.
  • Do not rub the site where you give the shot.
  • If your dose is more than 1 injection, you may give in the same body part. However, do not give injections within 2 inches of each other.
  • Do not use if the solution is cloudy, leaking, or has particles.
  • This drug is colorless to slightly yellow or slightly brown. Do not use if the solution changes color.
  • Each prefilled pen or syringe is for one use only.
  • Throw away any part left over after the dose is given.
  • Throw away needles in a needle/sharp disposal box. Do not reuse needles or other items. When the box is full, follow all local rules for getting rid of it. Talk with a doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • If you drop this drug on a hard surface, do not use it.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

Auto-injector shot and prefilled syringes:

  • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
  • If you are not sure what to do if you miss a dose, call your doctor.

Vials:

  • Call your doctor to find out what to do.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

Auto-injector shot and prefilled syringes:

  • Store in a refrigerator. Do not freeze.
  • Store in the original container to protect from light.
  • If needed, you may store at room temperature for up to 7 days. Write down the date you take this drug out of the refrigerator. If stored at room temperature and not used within 7 days, throw this drug away.
  • Protect from heat.
  • Use within 8 hours after taking out of the carton. If not used within 8 hours after taking out of the carton, throw this drug away.

Vials:

  • If you need to store this drug at home, talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.

All products:

  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.

General drug facts

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else’s drugs.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Last Reviewed Date

2019-06-18

Copyright

© 2019 Wolters Kluwer Clinical Drug Information, Inc. and its affiliates and/or licensors. All rights reserved.

Last Updated