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Monday, September 10, 2012

Another new drug for hard to treat asthma?

(Shutterstock photo)

I signed up to get updates from American Lung Association, and read about a study for a new asthma drug for hard to treat asthma. It won't be on the market for another 3 to 4 years, but it is showing promise.

According to HealthDay, News for Healthier Living, this new drug (mepolizumab) may reduce asthma attacks in 50% of people who take the medication.

The article says that many people with hard to treat asthma can end up on oral steroids repeatedly. My Son #2 used to have so many problems with asthma that we kept a bottle of Prednisone on hand so we could start him on it right away to try to avoid a trip to the hospital. Sometimes the steroids worked, sometimes it wasn't enough. Oral steroids have some not-so-fun side effects. To read about some of the side effects, click here. 

They are testing mepolizumab on about 600 randomly selected patients. After a year, patients getting mepolizumab  had about half as many trips to the emergency department or hospital versus the people who weren't getting the drug.

That is going to make a BIG difference in people's lives. I wish I could have prevented the 12 hospitalizations my kids endured......

Mepolizumab doesn't sound like it will be cheap, since it's given once a month by IV. But, I always like to know what options are out there for treating asthma. Just in case.

Son #2 seems to be doing REALLY well since he started on Xolair. So I think we'll stick with that medication. He's only been hospitalized once since he started on Xolair. It's not cheap either, it was $1000 when we started on it 4 1/2 years ago. But I'm sure the cost has gone up since then. Thankfully insurance covers most of that cost.

For any others that are suffering from severe asthma, talk to your doctor. There are options for treating asthma. Not always cheap or easy, but there are choices.

We deserve to live a long happy life! And to do that may mean trying out new treatments for asthma until you get the right one.


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