Newly Approved Cinqair Offers Extra Help for Severe Asthma

Roni Shye
Roni Shye, PharmD BCGP BCACP, is a licensed pharmacist in the states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
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The CDC (Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention) estimates that nearly 17.7 million adults and 6.3 million children in the United States suffer from asthma. Depending on how well it’s controlled, asthma can have an enormous effect on your daily life.

More severe asthma means more frequent symptoms like coughing, wheezing, tight chest, and shortness of breath, and may mean your symptoms keep you up at night more often.

There are several treatment options out there, but the FDA has just approved one more, Cinqair (reslizumab), that may offer extra help for severe symptoms.

What is Cinqair used for?
Cinqair is used as add-on maintenance treatment for patients 18 and older with severe asthma, and with a specific type of asthma (eosinophilic phenotype). This particular kind of asthma is characterized by white blood cells also known as eosinophils that cause inflammation.

How will Cinqair be available?
Cinqair is an intravenous (IV) infusion. It must be given in a healthcare setting by a healthcare professional that is prepared to manage possible allergic reactions.

This makes it different from most asthma treatments like inhalers that you use at home.

How is Cinqair used?

The recommended dose of Cinqair is based on your weight, but you’ll receive an 20 to 50 minute infusion once every 4 weeks.

What are the side effects of Cinqair?

The most common side effects associated with Cinqair include allergic reaction, muscle pain, and cancer (growth of malignant cells or tissues). Yes—Cinqair is a serious medication. Remember, it’s only intended for people with a certain type of severe asthma.

When will Cinqair be available?
Cinqair was approved by the FDA on March 23, 2016, and it’s expected be available in the second quarter of 2016 according to its manufacturer, Teva.

Are there any other medications like Cinqair available?

Yes. Nucala (mepolizumab) is also an injectable treatment used as an additional maintenance treatment for severe asthma, in people with an eosinophilic phenotype. Nucala is also by given by a healthcare provider every 4 weeks, but it is a subcutaneous injection rather than an infusion like Cinqair.

Xolair (omalizumab) is another similar medication, but it’s specifically for moderate-to-severe allergic asthma (asthma triggered by allergies). Xolair, like Nucala, is a subcutaneous injection by a healthcare provider, but it can be given every 2 or 4 weeks.

Want more info?

See the press release from manufacturer Teva here, and the announcement from the FDA here.

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