This medication is used along with other medications to control and prevent symptoms (such as wheezing and shortness of breath) caused by asthma. Controlling symptoms of asthma helps you do your normal activities and decreases time lost from work or school. Mepolizumab is also used to treat certain other immune system disorders (chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps, eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis, hypereosinophilic syndrome). This medication works by decreasing a certain type of white blood cell (eosinophils). This effect helps reduce swelling (inflammation) of the airways to make breathing easier. It may also help reduce the size of nasal polyps, and lessen symptoms such as runny/stuffy nose, mucus in the throat, loss of smell, facial pain, and tiredness.
This medication must be used regularly to be effective. It does not work right away and should not be used to relieve sudden asthma attacks or breathing problems. If an asthma attack occurs, use your quick-relief inhaler as prescribed.
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Mepolizumab is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the maintenance treatment of severe asthma in patients aged six years or older and with an eosinophilic phenotype in combination with other medicines used to treat asthma. In the European Union it is approved as an add-on treatment for severe refractory eosinophilic asthma in adults.
In December 2017, the FDA expanded mepolizumab’s indication to treat adults with eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis, which is a rare autoimmune condition that can cause vasculitis.
In September 2020, the FDA expanded mepolizumab’s indication to treat adults and children aged twelve years and older with hypereosinophilic syndrome (HES) for six months or longer without another identifiable non-blood related cause of the disease.