Common patient questions
Providing simple answers to questions often asked by patients on Nucala.
About their severe eosinophilic asthma
Research has shown that not all asthma is the same, and one of the ways it can vary is in its severity.
In general, patients with ‘severe’ asthma find it difficult to control their daily asthma symptoms. Severe asthma patients may continue to have asthma attacks, even when they are taking high doses of prescribed asthma medications.1 Around 5–10% of people with asthma have this type. 2
Some of these people, like you, have a particular type of severe asthma known as severe eosinophilic asthma.
Eosinophils are a type of white blood cell found throughout your body. They play an important role in your immune system. 3In eosinophilic asthma, eosinophils are involved in inflammation in the lungs and may worsen the condition. 1
It’s normal if you feel worried about your condition. Severe asthma can be unpredictable. Asthma attacks are frightening and may require you to go urgently to the hospital or doctor’s clinic.
It’s also normal to have some concerns when starting a different medication. Your Nucala treatment has to be injected, and requires that you make appointments with your doctor every 4 weeks. 4You may also be concerned about how you are going to pay for the treatment. Discussing your concerns with a friend, family member or doctor may really help you put things into perspective.
About their Nucala treatment
Clinical studies have found that for many adult patients with severe refractory eosinophilic asthma who are eligible for treatment, Nucala significantly reduced the frequency of asthma attacks. 5 Although, remember, this doesn’t mean that it will stop them altogether.
Furthermore, for those patients taking oral corticosteroids daily to control their asthma symptoms and attacks, Nucala also helped to reduce their daily dose. 6
Nucala mainly works by reducing the frequency of attacks in adult patients with severe refractory eosinophilic asthma. 5Since these don’t normally happen on a daily basis, it might take a while to know if the medication is working. Therefore, it is important to track your progress, for example using an asthma tracker diary or app. Nucala could also improve asthma symptoms (such as shortness of breath) which can be recognised earlier. 5
When your doctor advises you to. If Nucala is working, you are less likely to have a severe asthma attack than if you were not receiving it. 5The risk does not disappear altogether, so you should keep receiving Nucala as prescribed whether or not you are still experiencing asthma symptoms or severe asthma attacks.
About their treatment regimen
Nucala should only be administered by a healthcare professional. 4Even if you pick up the medication yourself, you should store it as per the pack instructions (below 25°C, keeping the vial in the outer carton to protect it from light), 4and bring it with you to your appointment at the clinic.
Nucala is given as a single injection, once every 4 weeks, by a healthcare professional. 4The injection goes just underneath the skin, in your upper arm, thigh or abdomen. 4Your healthcare professional may ask you to stay for a monitoring period afterwards to make sure that they can manage any allergic reactions to the injection if they occur.
The injection itself is quick; just a few seconds. It goes just underneath the skin (in the upper arm, thigh or abdomen). 4However, the entire appointment will likely take more time as you may have to wait to see the doctor or nurse, and after your injection you may have to stay for a monitoring period.
You will have to plan for a Nucala injection once every 4 weeks. 4As you begin your treatment, think about the following:
- How will you fit your injections into your routine?
- What is the best way to discuss taking time off work with your employer?
- Do you have any questions to ask your healthcare professional ahead of time?
To maintain the benefits of your Nucala treatment, you should continue to receive an injection every 4 weeks. 4If you miss an appointment for any reason, talk to your doctor about getting back on track as soon as possible.
During the clinical trials for Nucala, a small proportion (between 1–10%) of patients reported allergic reactions after their Nucala injection. 4Since reactions can take time to appear – from within hours of administration to days 4– your doctor may consider monitoring you after you receive Nucala.
About concomitant treatments
You should not stop your oral corticosteroid treatment unless told to. The main thing to remember is that you shouldn’t suddenly stop taking any prescribed medication without consulting your doctor. You will be advised on whether you can reduce your oral corticosteroid dose after you start taking Nucala. This decision will be based on if, and how, you are responding to Nucala.
About Nucala safety
The most common side effect seen in clinical trials with Nucala (affecting more than 10% of patients) was headache. Other side effects that might affect up to 10% of patients included: 4
- Injection-site reactions (pain, redness, swelling, itching and burning sensation of the skin near to the injection site)
- Back pain
- Pharyngitis (sore throat)
- Lower respiratory tract infection (congestion, cough)
- Hypersensitivity reactions
- Nasal congestion (stuffy nose)
- Upper abdominal pain (stomach pain or discomfort in the upper area of the stomach)
- Eczema (red itchy patches on the skin)
- Urinary tract infection (blood in urine, painful and frequent urination, fever, pain in lower back)
- Fever (high temperature)
For further information on side effects, please see the patient information leaflet that comes with your medicine.
Allergic or allergic-like reactions may affect up to 1 in 10 people. 4They usually occur within minutes to hours after the injection, but sometimes they may start several days later. Symptoms can include:
- Chest tightness, cough, difficulty breathing
- Fainting, dizziness, feeling lightheaded (due to a drop in blood pressure)
- Swelling of the eyelids, face, lips, tongue or mouth
If you think you may be having a reaction, seek medical attention immediately. And if you think you may have had a similar reaction to any injection or medicine before, tell your doctor before you are given Nucala.