Advanced Biologics Treatment for Severe Asthma
Asthma Biologic Therapy in Melbourne, FL
Asthma biologic therapy can provide treatment and relief when your asthma doesn’t respond to standard therapies. Learn more about biologic therapy for severe asthma from board-certified Allergist Dr. Pavana Beerelli in Melbourne, FL.
Dr. Beerelli is knowledgeable, kind and truly invested in her patients’ health. The team is service oriented and go out of their way to help in all situations. Professional, Knowledgeable and Kind! TOP NOTCH! Would not go anywhere else!
– Victoria G, October 2020
Asthma Biologic Therapy Overview
Most cases of asthma are well-managed with standard therapies. Standard therapies usually consist of identifying and avoiding triggers, taking controller medication, and using a quick-relief inhaler when symptoms develop. Some individuals, however, do not respond to standard therapies. A new class of medications called ‘biologic therapies’ have been developed to target unique pathways responsible for inflammation in moderate-to-severe asthma when standard therapies are ineffective.
Asthma biologic therapies are unique in that they target a specific antibody, inflammatory molecule, or cell receptor, so an asthma patient may respond more favorably to one type of biologic over another. Where patients with moderate-to-severe asthma would otherwise experience frequent symptoms, biologic therapies have been shown to decrease the frequency of asthma exacerbations, requiring less emergency room visits, less hospitalizations, and fewer interventions with oral steroids. Additional benefits include reduced asthma symptoms, improved lung function, reduced dosage of other controller medication, and less missed school and work days. Patients on biologics have told us that they are more confident in going out and meeting people, are more mobile, and much less stressed about flare ups.
Getting Started with Biologic Therapy
If you have severe asthma and are having a difficult time keeping your asthma under control, you should start by discussing your situation with Dr. Beerelli. If you’re a good candidate for biologic asthma treatment. If you decide to proceed with treatment, you will still need to take your usual medicines, including your inhalers, even if you are on a biologic therapy. It’s also important that you’ve been following your standard treatment plans, and taking your prescribed medicines properly even if you feel they’re not very effective.
Biologics are made from the cells of a living organism that is then modified to target specific molecules in humans. Unlike other medications for asthma, most biologics are administered in Dr. Beerelli’s office either as a subcutaneous injection or as an intravenous infusion. Biologic injection visits are usually required every two to eight weeks depending on your regimen. With some biologics, Dr. Beerelli may want to observe you in the office for 30 minutes up to two hours after administration to minimize any unforeseen side effects. Dupilumab is the one biologic that can be self-administered at home.
If your asthma does not improve after receiving 4 to 12 months of a biologic treatment, or you have been unable to reduce your daily steroid use, Dr. Beerelli will reassess your asthma and you may be offered another biologic treatment. If you have a successful trial, Dr. Beerelli will develop a personalized plan for you to continue long-term treatment.
Approved Asthma Biologics
Xolair (Omalizumab) – Indicated for severe allergic asthma. Omalizumab works by reducing the amount of IgE in the body. IgE is produced when a person has an allergic reaction, too much of which can cause inflammation in the lungs. Omalizumab is given as an injection every 2 to 4 weeks.
Nucala (Mepolizumab) – An eosinophilic asthma biologic. Mepolizumab works by reducing the number of eosinophils (a type of white blood cells) in the body, lowering the inflammation that can cause asthma symptoms and attacks. Mepolizumab is usually injected every 4 weeks.
Cinqaero (Reslizumab) – An eosinophilic asthma biologic. Reslizumab works by reducing the number of eosinophils (a type of white blood cells) in the body, lowering the inflammation that can cause asthma symptoms and attacks. Reslizumab is usually injected every 4 weeks.
Fasenra (Benralizumab) – An eosinophilic asthma biologic. Benralizumab works by reducing the number of eosinophils (a type of white blood cells) in the body, lowering the inflammation that can cause asthma symptoms and attacks. Benralizumab is injected every 4 weeks for the first 3 doses and then every 8 weeks afterwards.
Dupixent (Dupilumab) – Indicated for eosinophilic asthma, eczema, and chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP). Dupixent works by blocking interleukin-4 (IL-4) and interleukin-13 (IL-13), two proteins that are responsible for allergic inflammation in asthma. Dupixent is given as an injection every 2 weeks. Unlike other biologics, Dupixent can be self-administered by adults or administered by parents when prescribed to children 12 and older.
Tezspire (tezepelumab-ekko) – Tezspire is indicated for the add-on maintenance treatment of adult and pediatric patients aged 12 years and older with severe asthma. Tezspire is an antibody that prevents thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP), a protein that causes inflammation in the airway, from attaching to its receptor, thereby reducing airway inflammation and asthma symptoms.
Side Effects of Biologic Therapies
Biologic Therapy in Melbourne, FL
Biologics can provide relief when your asthma doesn’t respond to standard therapies. Dr. Beerelli is passionate about treating each of her patients with empathy, attentiveness and respect.
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