Nucala

(mepolizumab)

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Helps control severe asthma.

Skip Upsides & Downsides section. Skip to side effects section.

Our bottom line

Nucala (mepolizumab) is an effective add-on medication for reducing severe asthma symptoms and improving breathing, but is very expensive.

Quick facts about Nucala
  • Drug class: autoimmune
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: No lower cost generic available

Upsides

  • You only need to take Nucala (mepolizumab) once every 4 weeks.
  • There are no dosing adjustments for people with kidney or liver problems.
  • Nucala (mepolizumab) can be used by children over 12 years old.
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What to expect from Nucala, on one page

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Downsides

  • Nucala (mepolizumab) only comes as an injection, so you have to be comfortable with needles.
  • You will need have Nucala (mepolizumab) administered at a clinic or doctor's office.
  • Nucala (mepolizumab) can cause a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction which doesn't happen with other non-injectable asthma medications.
  • Nucala (mepolizumab) has no generic available and can be expensive.
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What to expect from Nucala, on one page

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How it works

Nucala (mepolizumab) blocks certain white blood cells called eosinophils which are involved in allergies and asthma attacks. Blocking eosinophils cells can lower the severity and length of these reactions.

Quick facts about Nucala
  • Drug class: autoimmune
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: No lower cost generic available

Used for

Dosage forms

  • Injection
Tried Nucala? Write a review!

What to expect when you take Nucala (mepolizumab) for Asthma

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  • First few hoursHours
    First few daysDays
    First few weeksWeeks
    First few monthsMonths
  • Effectiveness
  • Starts to kick in
    Full effects
  • First few hoursHours
    First few daysDays
    First few weeksWeeks
    First few monthsMonths
  • Possible side effects
  • Headache
  • Back pain
  • Fatigue
  • Flu
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Itchiness
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Side effect rates for Nucala (mepolizumab)

From 520 clinical trials of Nucala when taken for asthma (100mg subcutaneous injection)
  • Headache
    19%19%
    18%18%
  • Injection site reaction
    8%8%
    3%3%
  • Back pain
    5%5%
    4%4%
  • Fatigue
    5%5%
    4%4%
  • Flu
    3%3%
    2%2%
  • Urinary tract infection
    3%3%
    2%2%
  • Upper stomach pain
    3%3%
    2%2%
  • Itchiness
    3%3%
    2%2%
  • Eczema
    3%3%
  • Muscle spasms
    3%3%
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
Where we got our data »

The placebo bar shows how common a side effect was for people taking a sugar pill instead of Nucala.

Nucala (mepolizumab)
Placebo

People taking Nucala felt side effect more

People taking Nucala felt side effect less

No difference

Risks and Warnings for Nucala (mepolizumab)

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  • Nucala (mepolizumab) can cause allergic reactions like swelling of lips, difficulty breathing, low blood pressure and rash. This typically happens within hours of taking Nucala (mepolizumab). Delayed allergic reactions, occurring days after, may also occur. Report any symptoms of severe allergic reaction to your doctor right away.

Common concerns from people taking Nucala (mepolizumab)

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Kidneys and liver
  • There are no dosing adjustments for people with kidney or liver problems.