(BPT) - Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for friends, family and good health in your life. If you are one of 25 million Americans affected by asthma1, you might not be feeling so grateful if you’re unable to find relief from your symptoms. However, for some, knowing they aren’t suffering alone is something to feel thankful for.
Meet Tom, a Navy veteran and avid outdoorsman who moved to Clearwater, Florida in 1999 to escape the cold of New England for the great Florida outdoors and to take advantage of the newfound opportunity to have his very own swimming pool. However, it was while conducting routine maintenance on this very same pool that he recalls noticing his first asthma symptoms.
“At first, my symptoms were more of an annoyance,” Tom shared. “I thought this was just my new way of life.”
However, by the end of 2012, Tom’s coughing and wheezing started to really impact his life, especially after any amount of exertion. Instead of enjoying the Florida weather poolside, he was often sitting inside on his couch. Finally, in 2013, Tom decided to see his primary care physician and was initially diagnosed with allergies. After his allergy medications stopped providing him relief, Tom decided it was time to see an asthma specialist.
With the help of a blood test, the diagnosis became clear – severe eosinophilic asthma or “SEA”. This is a less common, but particularly severe form of asthma marked by elevated eosinophils. Eosinophils are a type of disease-fighting white blood cell. Notably, 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 (SEA).2,3
When they are helping to fight disease, the level of eosinophils in the blood increase, and eosinophils can also move into the body’s tissue, including the lungs, and cause inflammation.4 When the levels are high enough, these specific white blood cells can also contribute to the symptoms of asthma.5
Unfortunately for Tom, at the time of his diagnosis, no available treatment options provided relief from his SEA symptoms. However, his specialist began enrolling him in clinical research studies, which ultimately helped Tom in 2013, when he became a patient in a research study for an infusion treatment 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.
Important safety information you should know about CINQAIR (reslizumab) includes:
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.
Within a couple of months of beginning the clinical trial, Tom was starting to feel the relief he had been seeking. His breathing improved. Now, Tom is back to the pool and other activities such as mowing his small front yard.
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.6
Soon after the product was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Tom’s doctor prescribed CINQAIR® by name, and he has been receiving it via a monthly IV infusion ever since.
This year, being thankful isn’t reserved just for Thanksgiving. With CINQAIR®, Tom is now thankful that his breathing has improved, and so has his quality of life!
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:
- 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®.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics: Asthma. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/asthma.htm. Accessed July 25, 2017.
- 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.