Nucala

Nucala is an add-on treatment used to treat asthma and EGPA. Nucala is given by subcutaneous injection once every 4 weeks.

Nucala Overview

Reviewed: September 11, 2015
Updated: 

Nucala is a prescription medication used in combination with other medicines to treat asthma in patients age 12 years and older. Nucala is also used to treat adults with eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA) which is an inflammation of the blood vessels. 

Nucala belongs to the drug class called monoclonal antibodies. This medication works by reducing blood eosinophils — a type of white blood cells that may contribute to your condition. 

Nucala is available as an injection and is injected subcutaneously (under the fatty layer of the skin) once every four weeks by a healthcare provider. 

The most common side effects of Nucala include headache, pain, redness, swelling, itching, or a burning feeling at the injection site, back pain, and weakness.

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Uses of Nucala

Nucala is a prescription medicine used with other medicines:

  • for the maintenance treatment of asthma in people aged 12 years and older whose asthma is not controlled with their current asthma medicines. Nucala helps prevent severe asthma attacks (exacerbations). 
  • for the treatment of adults with eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA). Since Nucala helps reduce symptoms and flares, it may allow your healthcare provider to reduce your corticosteroid medication that you take by mouth. 

Nucala reduces blood eosinophils — a type of white blood cells that may contribute to your condition. 

  • Nucala is not used to treat sudden breathing problems that happen with asthma.
  • It is not known if Nucala is safe and effective in children with severe asthma under 12 years of age.
  • It is not known if Nucala is safe and effective in children with EGPA under 18 years of age.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Manufacturer

Nucala Drug Class

Nucala is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Nucala

Nucala can cause serious side effects. See "Nucala Precautions" section.

The most common side effects of Nucala include:

  • headache
  • injection site reactions (pain, redness, swelling, itching, or a burning feeling at the injection site)
  • back pain
  • weakness (fatigue)

These are not all the possible side effects of Nucala.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information. Tell your doctor if you have any side effects that bother you or that do not go away. 

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Nucala Interactions

No Nucala drug interactions have been studied by the manufacturer. However, you should tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Not all drug interactions are known or reported and new interactions are continually being reported.

Nucala Precautions

Nucala can cause serious side effects, including:

  • Serious allergic reactions. These allergic reactions can happen after you get your Nucala injection. Allergic reactions can sometimes happen hours or days after you get a dose of Nucala. Tell your healthcare provider or get emergency help right away if you have any of the following symptoms of an allergic reaction:
    • swelling of your face, mouth, and tongue  
    • breathing problems
    • fainting, dizziness, feeling lightheaded (low blood pressure)      
    • rash
    • hives

Herpes zoster infections that can cause shingles have happened in people who received Nucala.

Do not use Nucala if you are allergic to mepolizumab or any of the ingredients in Nucala.

Nucala Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of Nucala, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet while receiving this medication.

Inform MD

Before receiving Nucala, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

  • are allergic to Nucala or to any of its ingredients
  • have a parasitic (helminth) infection
  • have not had chickenpox (varicella) or the chickenpox vaccine
  • are taking oral or inhaled corticosteroid medicines. Do not stop taking your corticosteroid medicines unless instructed by your healthcare provider. This may cause other symptoms that were controlled by the corticosteroid medicine to come back.
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Nucala may harm your unborn baby. There is a pregnancy registry for women who receive Nucala while pregnant. The purpose of the registry is to collect information about the health of you and your baby. You can talk to your healthcare provider about how to take part in this registry or you can get more information and register by calling 1-877-311-8972 or go to www.mothertobaby.org/asthma.
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. You and your healthcare provider should decide if you will use Nucala and breastfeed. You should not do both without talking with your healthcare provider first.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Do not stop taking your other asthma medicines unless instructed to do so by your healthcare provider.

Nucala and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

It is not known if Nucala may harm your unborn baby.

  • Pregnancy Registry. There is a pregnancy registry for women who receive Nucala while pregnant. The purpose of the registry is to collect information about the health of you and your baby. You can talk to your healthcare provider about how to take part in this registry or you can get more information and register by calling 1-877-311-8972 or go to www.mothertobaby.org/asthma.

Nucala and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

You and your doctor should decide if you will use Nucala and breastfeed. You should not do both without talking with your doctor first.

Nucala Usage

Receive Nucala exactly as prescribed. 

This medication is available as an injection. 

Nucala is injected subcutaneously (under the fatty layer of the skin) by a healthcare provider once every 4 weeks. 

Nucala Dosage

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor.

The dose your doctor prescribes will depend on the condition being treated. 

  • The recommended dose of Nucala, when used to treat asthma, is 100 mg injected subcutaneously (under the fatty layer of the skin) once every 4 weeks. 
  • The recommended dose of Nucala, when used to treat asthma eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA), is 300 mg (as 3 separate 100-mg injections) injected subcutaneously (under the fatty layer of the skin) once every 4 weeks. 

Nucala Overdose

Nucala is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting. It is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, 

Other Requirements

Store below 25°C (77°F). Do not freeze. Store in the original package to protect from light.