Why is this medication prescribed?
Mepolizumab injection is used along with other medications to prevent wheezing, difficulty breathing, chest tightness, and coughing caused by asthma in children 12 years and older and adults whose asthma is not controlled with their current asthma medication. Mepolizumab injection is in a class of medications called monoclonal antibodies. It works by blocking the action of a certain natural substance in the body that causes the symptoms of asthma.
How should this medicine be used?
Mepolizumab injection comes as a powder to be mixed with water and injected subcutaneously (just under the skin) into your upper arm, thigh, or abdomen. It is usually given by a doctor or nurse in a doctor's office or healthcare facility. It is usually given once every 4 weeks. Your doctor will determine the length of your treatment based on your condition and how well you respond to the medication.
Do not decrease your dose of any other asthma medication or stop taking any other medication that has been prescribed by your doctor unless your doctor tells you to do so. Your doctor may want to decrease the doses of your other medications gradually.
Mepolizumab injection is not used to treat a sudden attack of asthma symptoms. Your doctor will prescribe a short-acting inhaler to use during attacks. Talk to your doctor about how to treat symptoms of a sudden asthma attack. If your asthma symptoms get worse or if you have asthma attacks more often, be sure to talk to your doctor.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer's information for the patient.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before receiving mepolizumab injection,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to mepolizumab injection, any medications, or any of the ingredients in mepolizumab injection. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: oral corticosteroids such as prednisone (Rayos) or an inhaled corticosteroid. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you have not had chickenpox (varicella) or you have or have ever had any type infection caused by worms.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while receiving mepolizumab injection, call your doctor.
- if you have any other medical conditions, such as arthritis, or eczema (a skin disease), they may worsen when your oral steroid dose is decreased. Tell your doctor if this happens or if you experience any of the following symptoms during this time: extreme tiredness, muscle weakness, or pain; sudden pain in stomach, lower body, or legs; loss of appetite; weight loss; upset stomach; vomiting; diarrhea; dizziness; fainting; depression; irritability; and darkening of skin. Your body may be less able to cope with stress such as surgery, illness, severe asthma attack, or injury during this time. Call your doctor right away if you get sick and be sure that all healthcare providers who treat you know that you recently decreased your oral steroid dose.
- tell your doctor if you have not been vaccinated against chickenpox. You may need to get a vaccine (shot) to protect you from this infection.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
If you miss an appointment to receive mepolizumab injection, call your doctor as soon as possible.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Mepolizumab injection may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- pain, redness, swelling, warmth, burning, or itching in the place mepolizumab was injected
- dry and itchy skin with or without red, scaly rashes
- back pain
- muscle spasms
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms or those listed in the SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS section, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
- wheezing or difficulty breathing
- shortness of breath
- chest tightness
- swelling of the face, mouth, and tongue
- difficulty swallowing
- fainting or dizziness
Mepolizumab injection may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while receiving this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your body's response to mepolizumab injection.
Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about mepolizumab injection.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.