Nucala (Mepolizumab) is a biologic medicine that suppresses the production of a type of blood cell called eosinophils in order to treat Eosinophilic Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (EGPA) and eosinophilc asthma.
Nucala works by blocking interleukin-5 (IL-5), a signalling protein (cytokine) that stimulates the production of eosinophils.
Nucala is available as a subcutaneous (under the skin) injection.
Nucala is available as a pre-filled syringe that is taken once every 4 weeks. The normal dose is 100 mg for eosinophilic asthma and 300 mg for EGPA.
Watch our video to learn how inject Nucala at home:Learn how to inject subcutaneous injectionsLearn how to inject autoinjectors
Subcutaneous injections (under the skin injections) are easy to do compared to other types of injections. A small needle pokes just under the skin to deliver medicine into the “fatty tissue” below.
Important Tests and Risks
It is important for patients who are taking Nucala to get occasional blood tests as requested by their doctor to monitor the activity of their disease and their eosinophil count.
Nucala works by blocking interleukin-5 (IL-5). IL-5 is a signalling protein, or cytokine, that is crucial for the growth, maturation, recruitment, and activation of eosinophils, which are a type of white blood cell involved in the inflammatory process.
Nucala is a type of protein known as a monoclonal antibody. It binds to IL-5, and in doing so, prevents it interacting with eosinophils. This results in a reduction in the number of eosinophils in the blood.
When IL-5 is tied up by Nucala, the messages that are normally sent to increase the number of eosinophils don’t get through as often. The overall effect is by lowering eosinophil levels, Nucala helps reduce inflammation, which is a key contributor to the symptoms and exacerbations of conditions like severe eosinophilic asthma and EGPA.
People taking Nucala should talk to their doctor if they are concerned about any side effects. The most common side effects of Nucala are headache and back or joint pain.
Other possible side effects include:
- Injection site reaction – Nucala can rarely cause a reaction (redness, pain, & itching) at the injection site. Patients should tell their doctor if these are severe.
- Patients have very rarely developed allergic reactions (feeling faint, trouble breathing or throat tightness, chest tightness, and swelling of the face, eyelids, lips, mouth, tongue, or throat) or hives while taking Nucala. Nucala should be stopped if this occurs.
People who should NOT be taking Nucala include:
- Anyone who has an allergic reaction to Nucala or any ingredient in this medicine
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women
People taking Nucala should call a doctor if they feel sick and want to stop, or if they are concerned about any side effects.
Other reasons to call a doctor while taking Nucala include:
- Becoming pregnant or planning on pregnancy
- Planning any vaccinations
- Rash or allergic reaction
- 02492997 (Prefilled Syringe)
- 02492989 (Autoinjector)