After years of always struggling to control her asthma, a Mississippi school librarian and mother of three took steps to help manage her asthma and is breathing better after receiving the correct diagnosis.
For over six years, Jan had been suffering from asthma symptoms but was told she had bronchitis and allergies. Finally, in 2018 after seeing a specialist – more specifically an allergist – she received the correct diagnosis. Jan had severe eosinophilic asthma, or e-asthma.
E-asthma is a specific type of severe asthma that is driven by eosinophils, white blood cells that can cause inflammation in the lungs. E-asthma can be associated with increased asthma symptoms, decreased lung function and an increased risk of exacerbations, or asthma attacks.
“Some days I felt like I could hardly breathe,” Jan says.
For some people with e-asthma, controller and rescue inhalers are not enough. Some of these patients need to rely on bursts of oral steroids to help manage their asthma.
This was the case for Jan. She continued to have frequent episodes of not being able to catch her breath, which as a fitness enthusiast, caused her to reduce her level of physical activity when her asthma wasn’t controlled.
Things got better for Jan when her doctor decided to add FASENRATM (benralizumab) subcutaneous injection 30 mg to her current treatment regimen in 2018. FASENRA is an add-on maintenance treatment for patients 12 and older with severe eosinophilic asthma. FASENRA is not used to treat other problems caused by eosinophils or to treat sudden breathing problems. FASENRA is a treatment that is proven to help prevent severe asthma attacks and improve lung function for better breathing in people with severe eosinophilic asthma. Individual results may vary.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved FASENRA in November 2017. Patients receive their first three doses of the injectable treatment once every four weeks. Afterward, they receive one dose every eight weeks. FASENRA is administered by a healthcare professional. FASENRA may cause allergic reactions. Get help right away if you have swelling of your face, mouth, and tongue, or trouble breathing.
FASENRA was designed to work with the body to attract immune cells that remove eosinophils – a source of severe asthma. The mechanism of action of FASENRA in asthma is not fully understood.
The medicine’s clinical trials suggest that in patients with severe eosinophilic asthma, FASENRA may help lower the number of severe asthma attacks and reduce daily use of oral steroids. Some patients were even able to stop using oral steroids entirely. Individual results may vary. However, don’t stop your asthma treatments unless your doctor tells you to. Headache and sore throat may occur. These are not all the possible side effects.
After finding the right treatment regimen for her with the addition of FASENRA, Jan’s asthma has been under control and she is breathing better. She has been able to increase her exercise activity, reduce her use of oral steroids and is getting back to doing some of the things she loves. Your results may vary.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
Known hypersensitivity to benralizumab or excipients.
WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS
Hypersensitivity reactions (eg, anaphylaxis, angioedema, urticaria, rash) have occurred after administration of FASENRA. These reactions generally occur within hours of administration, but in some instances have a delayed onset (ie, days). Discontinue in the event of a hypersensitivity reaction.
Acute Asthma Symptoms or Deteriorating Disease
FASENRA should not be used to treat acute asthma symptoms, acute exacerbations, or acute bronchospasm.
Reduction of Corticosteroid Dosage
Do not discontinue systemic or inhaled corticosteroids abruptly upon initiation of therapy with FASENRA. Reductions in corticosteroid dose, if appropriate, should be gradual and performed under the direct supervision of a physician. Reduction in corticosteroid dose may be associated with systemic withdrawal symptoms and/or unmask conditions previously suppressed by systemic corticosteroid therapy.
Parasitic (Helminth) Infection
It is unknown if FASENRA will influence a patient’s response against helminth infections. Treat patients with pre-existing helminth infections before initiating therapy with FASENRA. If patients become infected while receiving FASENRA and do not respond to anti-helminth treatment, discontinue FASENRA until infection resolves.
The most common adverse reactions (incidence ≥ 5%) include headache and pharyngitis.
Injection site reactions (eg, pain, erythema, pruritus, papule) occurred at a rate of 2.2% in patients treated with FASENRA compared with 1.9% in patients treated with placebo.
USE IN SPECIFIC POPULATIONS
The data on pregnancy exposure from the clinical trials are insufficient to inform on drug-associated risk. Monoclonal antibodies such as benralizumab are transported across the placenta during the third trimester of pregnancy; therefore, potential effects on a fetus are likely to be greater during the third trimester of pregnancy.
FASENRA is indicated for the add-on maintenance treatment of patients with severe asthma aged 12 years and older, and with an eosinophilic phenotype.
- FASENRA is not indicated for treatment of other eosinophilic conditions
- FASENRA is not indicated for the relief of acute bronchospasm or status asthmaticus
You may report side effects related to AstraZeneca products by clicking here.
Melinda Carter, [email protected]