The Ultimate Holiday Gift: Asthma Relief
It’s the last ten seconds before the famous New York City, New Year’s Eve ball drop and another year is about to pass. As those remaining moments dwindle, you begin to reflect on the past year and what’s to come in the year ahead. For many, New Year’s resolutions might include hitting your target weight, or finally buckling down and saving for a down payment on your first home, or maybe something smaller such as taking time each day to practice mindfulness. For Cheri, a pediatric nurse, her New Year’s resolution last year seemed simple, but was far more complex than she ever imagined – finding relief from her severe eosinophilic asthma (SEA).
What is SEA? It is a less common, but often severe and difficult-to-treat form of asthma marked by elevated eosinophils. Eosinophils are a type of disease fighting white blood cell found in the blood. Notably, of the 334 million people worldwide affected by asthma, only about five percent of all adult asthma patients fit the criteria for SEA.1,2
When they are helping to fight disease, the level of eosinophils in the blood increases, and they can also move into the body’s tissue, including the lungs, and cause inflammation.3 When the levels become too high, these specific white blood cells can also play a key role in the symptoms of asthma, and increase the likelihood of experiencing an increase in asthma symptoms and attacks.4 Cheri’s SEA was not only taking her away from her future goals, but even her day-to-day life as a nurse.
“In order to make it to my 7am shift, I had to wake up at 3:45am to make time for all of my nebulizer treatments just to have my airway open up enough for me to drive to work,” she said. “But once I got there, I wasn’t even able to get out of the car because my asthma symptoms were so severe. Because of this, I had to call out sick a lot and even had to use all of my vacation days to cover the extra personal time I needed. This was tough because I was never able to spend quality time with my friends or family. Even speaking on the phone for extended periods of time became challenging.”
After trying a number of prescription treatment options, and having several hospitalizations due to asthma attacks, her doctor told her about a treatment option she could try called CINQAIR® (reslizumab) Injection. Important information you should know about CINQAIR® includes:
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.
If you are taking CINQAIR, serious allergic reactions, or anaphylaxis, 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
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.
“As a nurse, it’s my job to help those who are sick. I got to the point where I was so short of breath, I could barely even talk, let alone find relief for myself. I’d tried all the recommended treatment options. I was told about CINQAIR®, and figured I’d try it. I needed relief from my symptoms. I wanted to breathe.”
By the time she received her second infusion, Cheri definitely felt her asthma symptoms had improved: “For the first time in a long time, I thought to myself, ‘I feel better!’ and that was a good feeling. It’s tough to describe what it feels like to experience SEA symptoms for so long and finally feel better again.”
CINQAIR® was studied in 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.5
With CINQAIR®, Cheri is able to set her New Year’s goals, with less thought of an asthma attack. Her first resolution is to use her vacation time to take an actual vacation.
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.
CINQAIR may cause serious side effects, including:
- serious allergic reactions, or anaphylaxis
- 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®.
- 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 http://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.