Taking Back Moments: One Man's Quest to Conquer Eosinophilic Asthma
As the summer sun begins to set and the air becomes cooler, many find themselves beginning to fall in love with the green leaves transitioning to warm reds, yellows and oranges. However, if you are one of the 25 million people in the United States affected by asthma1, harvest time usually coincides with fall asthma triggers that may present challenges and even cause uncomfortable symptoms, or worse, a severe asthma attack.
Just ask Rich Palmer, an asthma sufferer who has always loved the great outdoors. In 2012, Rich received an initial diagnosis of allergy-induced asthma and was prescribed a standard inhaler regimen. But his symptoms persisted, worsening over time. Rich stopped hunting, one of his favorite hobbies. He was experiencing difficulty breathing even while getting dressed to head out the door. He spent hundreds of dollars on therapeutic pillows, in an attempt to find a position to clear his airway to reduce his night time awakenings. He even struggled through work, spending long hours doing manual labor outside where changes in weather would often trigger his asthma symptoms. Enough was enough for Rich.
After many doctor’s visits and many different treatment options, Rich saw his allergist and was officially diagnosed with severe eosinophilic asthma (SEA). This was discovered after getting a simple blood test which is routinely used in most medical offices. Of the 334 million people worldwide affected by asthma, only about five percent of all adult asthma patients fit the criteria for severe eosinophilic asthma.2,3 Eosinophils are a type of disease fighting white blood cell that everyone has in their body. When they are fighting disease, the level of eosinophils in the blood increases and they can accumulate in the body’s tissue and cause inflammation.4 These specific white blood cells can also play a key role in driving the inflammatory symptoms of asthma.5
Having watched his mother struggle with a respiratory condition, Rich knew the profound value that an accurate diagnosis could have on his life. While he was very scared when he heard the diagnosis of SEA, once reality settled in, Rich decided that he wouldn’t let his severe eosinophilic asthma symptoms take control of his life anymore.
After speaking with his allergist, they came to the decision together to start monthly intravenous (IV) infusions of CINQAIR® (reslizumab) Injection. When it came to the infusions themselves, Rich was nervous at first, but knew he needed to experience relief. In his words, “I’m not afraid of needles - I’m afraid of not breathing.”
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
What is the most important information I should know about CINQAIR® (reslizumab) Injection?
CINQAIR can cause serious side effects, including:
Serious allergic reactions (anaphylaxis). Serious allergic reactions can happen right after you receive your CINQAIR infusion. These reactions can cause death. Allergic reactions sometimes do not happen right away. Your healthcare provider will watch you during and after you receive your CINQAIR infusion for any signs of a reaction.
Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms that may be associated with an allergic reaction:
- breathing problems
- skin rash (hives)
- swelling of your face, lips, mouth, or tongue
- symptoms of low blood pressure (fainting, dizziness, light headedness, confusion, fast heart beat)
- nausea or abdominal discomfort
What is CINQAIR?
CINQAIR is a prescription medicine used with other asthma medicines for the maintenance treatment of asthma in people aged 18 years of age and older whose asthma is not controlled with the current asthma medicines. When added to other medicines for asthma, CINQAIR helps prevent severe asthma attacks (exacerbations) and can improve your breathing.
Medicines such as CINQAIR reduce blood eosinophils. Eosinophils are a type of white blood cell that may contribute to your asthma.
- CINQAIR is not used to treat other problems caused by eosinophils.
- CINQAIR is not used to treat sudden breathing problems.
It is not known if CINQAIR is safe and effective in children less than 18 years of age.
Do not receive CINQAIR if you are allergic to reslizumab or any of the ingredients in CINQAIR. See the Full Prescribing Information for a complete list of the ingredients in CINQAIR.
Please see additional Important Safety Information below.
One month after his first infusion, Rich was very pleasantly surprised. “I was happy because it seemed to be working.”
That was eight months ago. Since his first infusion, Rich has not experienced any asthma flares. CINQAIR® was studied in certain people with severe, poorly controlled asthma and a higher than normal level of eosinophils. The majority of people who added CINQAIR® to other asthma medicines did not have an asthma attack, compared with people who did not add CINQAIR®. As many as 3 in 4 people who added CINQAIR® did not have an asthma attack for the entire year. In comparison, about half of people who did not add CINQAIR® were free of asthma attacks. CINQAIR® reduced asthma attacks that required use of oral corticosteroids* or resulted in visits to the hospital or emergency room.6
“I don’t want to be without my CINQAIR®. It has improved my quality of life.”
This fall, you’ll find Rich outside, in nature, enjoying the great outdoors again, and with less worry about his severe eosinophilic asthma getting in the way.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION (Continued)
Before receiving CINQAIR, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:
- are taking oral or inhaled corticosteroid medicines. Do not stop taking your corticosteroid unless your healthcare provider tells you to stop. This may cause other symptoms that were controlled by the corticosteroid medicine to come back.
- have or have had cancer (malignancy).
- have a parasitic (helminth) infection.
- are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if CINQAIR will harm your unborn baby. Tell your healthcare provider if you become pregnant during your treatment with CINQAIR.
- are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if CINQAIR passes into your breast milk. You and your healthcare provider should decide if you will receive CINQAIR and breastfeed. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby if you receive CINQAIR.
Do not stop taking your other asthma medicines unless your healthcare provider tells you to.
What are the possible side effects of CINQAIR?
CINQAIR may cause serious side effects, including:
- See “What is the most important information I should know about CINQAIR?”
- abnormal growth of cells or tissue in your body that may or may not be cancer (malignancy)
The most common side effects of CINQAIR include throat pain.
These are not all the possible side effects of CINQAIR.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Please see full Prescribing Information, including Boxed WARNING for CINQAIR®.
For more information on CINQAIR®, please visit www.CINQAIR.com.
*No clinical studies have assessed reduction of maintenance corticosteroid dosages following use of CINQAIR®.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics: Asthma. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/asthma.htm. Accessed July 25, 2017.De Groot JC, ten Brinke A. Bel EHD. Eur Respir J. Open Research Sep 2015 1(1) 00024-2015; DOI: 10:1183/23120541.00024-2015. Retrieved from http://openres.ersjournals.com/content/1/1/00024-2015
- Asher l. Marks G. Pearce N. and Strachan D. Global Burden of Disease Due to Asthma. Retrieved from http://www.globalasthmareport.org/burden/burden.php
- De Groot JC, ten Brinke A. Bel EHD. Eur Respir J. Open Research Sep 2015 1(1) 00024-2015; DOI: 10:1183/23120541.00024-2015. Retrieved from htto://openres.ersjournals.com/content/1/1/00024-2015
- Mayo Clinic. (2014, April 8) Eosinophilia. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/eosinophilia/basics/definition/sym-20050752
- Mayo Clinic (2014, April 8). Mayo Clinic. (2014, April 8) Eosinophilia. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/eosinophilia/basics/causes/sym-20050752
- Castro M, Zangrilli J, Wechsler ME, et al. Reslizumab for inadequately controlled asthma with elevated blood eosinophil counts: results from two multicentre, parallel, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trials. Lancet Respir Med. 2015;3:355-366.