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Benralizumab 

Fasenra

Fasenra (benralizumab) is a biologic medication approved by the FDA for treating severe eosinophilic asthma in adults and children aged 12 and older. It is administered as a subcutaneous injection, either by a healthcare professional using a prefilled syringe or by the patient using a prefilled autoinjector pen after proper training. Fasenra targets and eliminates eosinophils, reducing inflammation in the airways and decreasing asthma flare-ups. While there are no known long-term side effects, it is essential to discuss your health history and any medications you take with your doctor before starting Fasenra. It is not a rescue inhaler & should not be used for sudden asthma attacks.

Fasenra Overview

Fasenra (benralizumab) is a biologic medication designed to treat severe eosinophilic asthma in adults & children (12 years or older). As a monoclonal antibody, Fasenra targets eosinophils, white blood cells that contribute to airway inflammation and asthma flare-ups. By attaching to the interleukin-5 receptor on eosinophils, Fasenra signals the immune system to eliminate these cells, thereby reducing inflammation and the risk of asthma attacks.

Fasenra is administered as a subcutaneous injection. It comes in two forms: a prefilled syringe, administered by a healthcare professional, and a prefilled autoinjector pen, which patients can use after receiving training from a healthcare provider. The recommended dosage is one injection every four weeks for the first three months, followed by one injection every eight weeks. There are no known long-term side effects of Fasenra, but it is crucial to discuss your health history & any current medications with your doctor before starting treatment. Fasenra is not intended for use during sudden asthma attacks and should not replace a rescue inhaler.

Important safety information includes avoiding known allergens, using a peak flow meter daily, and considering an annual flu shot to prevent exacerbations. While there are no known interactions with other drugs, herbs, or supplements, always inform your healthcare provider of all medications you are taking. Fasenra must be stored in a refrigerator but can be kept at room temperature for up to 14 days if needed. Proper disposal of unused medication and used auto injector pens is essential to prevent accidental use and environmental harm. Always follow your doctor’s guidance on using and storing Fasenra.

Uses of Fasenra

This medication is approved to treat adults & children (12 years or older) with:

  • Severe Eosinophilic Asthma
  • COPD (off label use but not appropriate too)
  • Nasal polyps (off-label use)

[Important Warning: Remember that Fasenra is not a rescue inhaler. It should not be used to treat sudden asthma attacks or a severe type of asthma known as status asthmaticus.]

Fasenra Dosage

Fasenra is available as a solution for subcutaneous injection, meaning it’s injected under the skin. It comes in two forms:

  • Prefilled Syringe: This is administered by a healthcare professional.
  • Prefilled Autoinjector Pen: After training from your doctor or pharmacist, you can use this pen to administer your own injections.

Dosage Information:

  • Each syringe or pen contains a single dose of Fasenra.
  • The strength of the drug in both forms is 30 mg/mL.

Recommended Dosage for Different Patients

Dosage for Asthma

  • Initial 3 Months: During the first three months of treatment, you will receive one injection (30 mg/mL) once every four weeks.
  • After Initial Period: After the initial three months, the dosage changes to one injection once every eight weeks.

Pediatric Dosage

  • Children Age 12 and Older: The dosage of Fasenra for children aged 12 years and older is the same as for adults.
  • Children Under 12 Years: Fasenra is not approved for use in children younger than 12 years of age.

[Note: Remember these recommendations may vary depending on person to person. Discuss it with your doctor, and they’ll customize your dosage accordingly.]

How to Take Fasenra?

  • Fasenra is administered as a subcutaneous injection and is available in two forms: a prefilled syringe & a prefilled autoinjector pen.
    • Prefilled Syringe:
      • Administration: A healthcare professional will administer Fasenra using the prefilled syringe. You will need to visit a doctor’s office or clinic for this.
      • Injection Sites: The injection may be given in various parts of your body, such as the upper arms, thighs, or abdomen.
      • Scheduling: Before you leave the office or clinic, ensure you have scheduled your next appointment for a Fasenra injection.
    • Prefilled Autoinjector Pen:
      • Self-Administration: After receiving training from a healthcare professional, you can use the prefilled autoinjector pen to administer the injection yourself.
      • Resources: The Fasenra website offers resources such as FAQs, instructional videos, and contact information for help with nurse training.
    • Dosage Schedule:
      • Initial 3 Months: You will receive one injection every 4 weeks.
      • Subsequent Period: After the initial 3 months, the frequency changes to one injection every 8 weeks.
  • To help ensure you don’t miss a dose, consider setting a reminder on your mobile phone or marking it on your calendar.
  • Fasenra is designed for long-term treatment. If you and your doctor find that Fasenra is safe & effective for you, you will likely continue using it over an extended period.

[Note: Your doctor will decide the right amount for you based on your condition, following guidelines and studies on the drug. They’ll adjust it as needed over time.]

How Does Fasenra Work?

Fasenra targets a specific type of white blood cell known as eosinophils, which play a role in the inflammation associated with asthma. Eosinophils have a protein on their surface called the interleukin-5 receptor. Fasenra works by attaching to this receptor on the eosinophils, signaling the immune system to eliminate them. By reducing the number of eosinophils, Fasenra decreases inflammation in the airways, which lowers the risk of asthma flare-ups.

Within just 24 hours of administration, Fasenra can remove nearly all eosinophils from the bloodstream. However, treating severe eosinophilic asthma effectively usually takes more time, and improvements in the condition are gradual. It is important to continue taking Fasenra to maintain control over asthma and reduce the likelihood of flare-ups. Even if symptoms improve significantly, you should not stop taking Fasenra without consulting your doctor, as stopping the treatment could lessen its effects and lead to increased asthma symptoms.

Fasenra Side Effects

Common side effects of Fasenra may include:

  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Injection site reaction
  • Fever

Serious side effects of Fasenra may include:

Allergic reaction: The only profound side effect of Fsenra is that some people may experience an allergic reaction to it, although this side effect is uncommon in studies of the drug.

  • Symptoms of a Mild Allergic Reaction:
    • Itchiness
    • Skin rash
    • Flushing (temporary deepening of skin color, redness, or warmth)
  • Symptoms of a Severe Allergic Reaction:
    • Swelling under the skin, typically in the lips, eyelids, feet, or hands
    • Swelling of the mouth, tongue, or throat, which can cause difficulty breathing

If you experience an allergic reaction to Fasenra, call your doctor immediately. If you believe you are having a medical emergency, contact your local emergency number right away or call 911.

[Note: Remember, this list may not cover all possible side effects. Always consult with your healthcare giver for medical advice about side effects.]

Fasenra Warnings

Before starting Fasenra, discuss your health history with your doctor. Fasenra may not be suitable for you if you have certain medical conditions or other health factors. These include:

  • Parasitic Infections: Fasenra may decline the ability of your body to fight off parasitic infections. If you have a helminth infection which is caused by a worm parasite, inform your doctor before starting Fasenra. They will treat your infection before you begin using Fasenra.
  • Allergic Reaction: If you have ever noticed or experienced a mild or severe allergic reaction to this medication or any of its ingredients, you should not take Fasenra. Ask your doctor for alternative medication options.
  • Alcohol: There are no known interactions between Fasenra and alcohol. However, alcohol can be risky for people with asthma. Studies from sources like the National Readmissions Database and the National Emergency Department Sample show that drinking alcohol might cause asthma attacks. If you drink alcohol, it’s important to discuss with your doctor how much is safe for you to consume while you are being treated with Fasenra.
  • Birth Control: The safety of taking Fasenra during pregnancy is not known. If you or your sexual partner may become pregnant, it is important to discuss your birth control needs with your doctor while using Fasenra. This will help in making sure that you can avoid an unplanned pregnancy while taking the medication.
  • Pregnancy: The safety of taking Fasenra during pregnancy is not fully known. There haven’t been clinical trials in humans to determine the effects of the drug during pregnancy. However, studies of similar medications suggest that if Fasenra is used during the third trimester (week 28 through birth), it may pass to the developing fetus. In animal studies, Fasenra did not harm the offspring of animals given the drug. However, animal studies do not always predict what may occur in humans. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, discuss it with your doctor before taking Fasenra. They can advise you on the safety of using Fasenra during pregnancy and recommend other treatment options if necessary.
  • Breastfeeding: The safety of using Fasenra while breastfeeding is not fully known. Clinical trials of similar medications indicate that Fasenra may pass into breast milk. However, it is unclear if the drug would have any effect on a breastfed child. If you are breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed, discuss with your doctor before taking Fasenra. They can help you understand the benefits and potential risks of breastfeeding while on this medication. Your doctor can also suggest the safest ways to feed your child.

Fasenra Precautions

Follow the precautions mentioned below to safely use this mediation:

  • Keep going to all your doctor visits and lab tests.
  • Learn how to properly use a peak flow meter. Use it every day and tell your doctor right away if your breathing gets worse, like if your meter shows yellow or red or you’re using your emergency inhaler more often.
  • Avoid things that can worsen breathing issues, like dust, smoke, pet fur, pollen, and mold.
  • Don’t give your medicine to anyone else.
  • Since the flu can make your breathing problems worse, check with your primary caregiver or pharmacist to see if you should get a flu vaccine every year.

Fasenra Contraindications

  • Hypersensitivity: It shouldn’t be used in patients who have a known hypersensitivity to benralizumab or any of its excipients.
  • Fasenra should not be used in patients experiencing asthmaticus or other acute asthmatic episodes requiring intensive therapy.

Fasenra Missed Dose

  • If you miss a dose of Fasenra, contact your doctor right away. They will guide you on the best time to take your next dose.
  • To help prevent missing a dose, consider setting a reminder on your phone or marking it on your calendar.

[Note: If you have missed a dose of your medication and are unsure about when to take the next one, immediately consult your doctor or pharmacist.]

Fasenra Overdose

Don’t use more Fasenra than your doctor recommends. What to do in case of overdose:

  • Contact Your Doctor: If you think you have taken too much Fasenra, call your doctor immediately.
  • Poison Control: For guidance, you can also contact America’s Poison Centers at 800-222-1222 or use their online tool.
  • Emergency Situations: If your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency center immediately.

[Note: If you consumed more than the recommended dose, get medical help right away or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.]

Fasenra Storage

  • Refrigeration: Store Fasenra auto injector pens in a refrigerator between 36°F – 46°F (2°C-8°C).
  • Room Temperature: If needed, Fasenra can be kept at room temperature for up to 14 days. Dispose of the pens if not used within this time frame.
  • Packaging: Keep Fasenra in its original package and protect it from light.
  • Handling: Do not shake, freeze, or expose Fasenra to heat.
  • Unused Medication: If you no longer need Fasenra and have leftover medication, dispose of it safely to prevent accidental use by others, including children and pets, and to protect the environment.
  • Used Pens: After using a Fasenra autoinjector pen, place it in a sharps disposal container.

[Note: Discuss with your healthcare professional about the proper disposal of any unused medicine and any questions you may have regarding its storage.]

Fasenra Interactions

Currently, there are no known interactions between Fasenra and any drugs, herbs, foods, or supplements. However, it is still important to be cautious and informed.

Before starting Fasenra, discuss with your doctor or pharmacist all the medications you are taking. This includes over-the-counter & prescription drugs, as well as any vitamins, herbs, and supplements. Sharing this information helps your healthcare provider making sure that there are no potential interactions that could affect your treatment.

If you have any questions or concerns about possible drug interactions, do not hesitate to ask your doctor or pharmacist. They can provide you with the most accurate and personalized advice.

[Note: This isn’t a complete list, and there could be other drugs that interact with Fasenra. Make sure to tell your doctor about any prescription, over-the-counter medicines, and herbal products you’re taking.]

Fasenra Alternatives

[Note: Your doctor will choose what’s best for you. Don’t use any of these alternative medications without consulting your healthcare provider. Taking them by yourself may cause serious side effects.]

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use Fasenra to treat asthma attacks?

No, Fasenra should not be used to treat sudden asthma symptoms, also known as asthma attacks or flare-ups. Fasenra is designed for the long-term management of asthma, working to prevent asthma flare-ups from occurring by modifying the underlying disease process in your body. It does not relieve symptoms once an asthma attack has started.

If you experience an asthma attack, Fasenra will not be effective in managing those immediate symptoms. Instead, you will likely need to use a rescue inhaler or other emergency treatments as prescribed by your doctor. Be sure to consult with your doctor about the most effective ways to manage and prevent asthma attacks.

Is Fasenra a biologic?

Yes, Fasenra is classified as a biologic drug. Unlike traditional drugs that are synthesized from chemicals, biologics are derived from living cells. Specifically, Fasenra is a type of biologic known as a monoclonal antibody. These antibodies are specially designed to target specific proteins within the immune system—the body’s defense against infection. Fasenra works by attaching to these proteins and blocking their actions, which are responsible for triggering the symptoms of asthma. This targeted approach helps to control and reduce asthma symptoms effectively.

Is Fasenra a steroid?

No, Fasenra is not a steroid. It is classified as a biologic, a type of medication derived from living cells, distinct from steroids, which are usually synthesized from chemicals. Both Fasenra and steroids are used to manage asthma, but they function differently within the body.

Fasenra specifically targets and removes eosinophils, a type of white blood cell present in the airways, which contribute to inflammation and the triggering of asthma flare-ups. In contrast, steroids work by broadly reducing inflammation and decreasing mucus production in the airways, improving breathing. Steroids are often used daily for long-term asthma management or intermittently during acute asthma flare-ups. On the other hand, Fasenra is not taken daily and is not suitable for treating sudden asthma symptoms. If you have any questions about how Fasenra or steroids work for asthma, it’s best to consult your primary caregiver or pharmacist for more detailed information.

Are there long-term side effects of Fasenra?

No, Fasenra is not known to cause long-term side effects. Clinical trials have shown that people who took the medicine for up to 48 weeks didn’t experience any long-term side effects. Additionally, no long-term side effects have been reported since Fasenra became available. However, if you experience a side effect that persists, it is important to talk with your doctor. They may help identify the cause of your symptoms and suggest ways to manage them.

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