Asthma is a chronic lung condition caused by narrowing of your airways that makes it difficult for you to breath. There are two types of asthma that may need to be treated with specialty medications: allergic asthma and eosinophilic asthma. Side effects for both of these types of asthma are generally the same:
- Wheezing, coughing
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness or pain
- Chronic coughing
- Trouble sleeping due to coughing or wheezing
What causes asthma?
Allergic asthma, the most common type of asthma, is caused by inhaling things that you are allergic to (allergens). Common allergens include dust, pet dander, pollen, and mold. Inhaling something you’re allergic to triggers your immune system to produce inflammation. This inflammation is what causes your airways to narrow and makes it difficult for you to breathe. Allergic asthma can usually be controlled with inhalers and other oral medications. However, sometimes a person’s allergies are causing severe asthma, requiring them to use a specialty medication, like Xolair.
Eosinophilic asthma is asthma that is caused by having too many eosinophils in your body. Eosinophils are types of white blood cells that are released during infections and allergic reactions. Some people release eosinophils even when there is no infection or allergic reaction. This increased level of eosinophils can increase your risk of having severe asthma attacks that are not caused by allergies.
What specialty medications do you offer to treat asthma?
- Xolair (allergic asthma)
- Nucala (eosinophilic asthma)
- Epipen (severe allergic reaction)
- Epipen Jr. (severe allergic reaction)
What should I expect from treatment?
Both Xolair and Nucala are medications that are injected under your skin (subcutaneous). Depending on what type of asthma you have and which medication you are prescribed, you will need to get this injection once every 2-4 weeks. These medications cannot be self-administered at home and you will need to visit your provider every 2-4 weeks to receive your treatment. You will continue to use your previous treatments even while on these medications. Common side effects that you may experience from these medications include headache and reactions at the injection site. If these side effects become unmanageable or if you experience any other side effects, contact your provider.