As our understanding of asthma expands, we are realizing that not all asthma is the same. New therapies are emerging to help provide personalized precision medicine for asthma treatment. Biologics are a newer, non-steroid treatment for certain types of moderate to severe asthma. These drugs block the action of inflammatory mediators that cause asthma in a very specific way.
Currently, there are four FDA-approved biologics for the treatment of severe asthma: Xolair (omalizumab), Nucala (mepolizumab), Cinqair (reslizumab) and Fasenra (benralizumab). Evaluation to see if patients qualify for a biologic can include lung function testing, skin testing and blood work. Patients most likely to benefit from these medications include those who have had multiple asthma flares requiring steroids within a year. These drugs have been well studied and have shown to reduce need for hospitalization and steroid use.
The safety profiles for these biologics are generally good. There can be an associated small risk of anaphylaxis, so these medications are administered in the office setting. For a more complete review of potential adverse reactions and to see if you qualify for the drug, we recommend that you be evaluated in our clinic.