Cinqair (reslizumab) is a brand-name IV infusion prescribed for severe eosinophilic asthma in adults. Cinqair prevents eosinophils from reaching the blood and causing swelling in the airways or lungs.
Cinqair is prescribed to treat a certain type of asthma. To understand how Cinqair works, it helps to understand asthma first.
Asthma is a condition in which the airways leading to your lungs become inflamed (swollen). The muscles that surround the airways get squeezed, which prevents air from moving through them. Your airways also become clogged by fluid and mucus. As a result, oxygen doesn’t reach your blood.
With severe asthma, the symptoms are usually worse than with regular asthma. Sometimes drugs that help treat asthma don’t work for severe asthma. So if you have severe asthma, you may need additional medication.
About severe eosinophilic asthma
One type of severe asthma is severe eosinophilic asthma. With this type of asthma, you have high levels of eosinophils in your blood. Eosinophils are a specific type of white blood cell. (White blood cells are cells from your immune system, which helps protect you from disease.) An increase in eosinophil levels leads to swelling in your airways and lungs. This causes your asthma symptoms.
How Cinqair treats severe eosinophilic asthma
The number of eosinophils in your blood depends on many factors. One of these links to a protein called interleukin-5 (IL-5). IL-5 allows the number of eosinophils to increase and travel to your blood.
Cinqair attaches to IL-5, which stops IL-5 from working. Cinqair helps prevent IL-5 from letting eosinophils grow and move to your blood. If the eosinophils can’t reach your blood, they’re unable to reach your lungs. So the eosinophils can’t cause swelling in your airways and lungs.
After your first dose of Cinqair, it may take up to 4 weeks for your asthma symptoms to go away.
Cinqair reaches your blood as soon as it’s given to you. The drug moves through your blood to your cells right away. When Cinqair reaches your cells, it attaches to IL-5 and immediately stops it from working.
Once IL-5 stops working, there will still be high levels of eosinophils in your blood. Cinqair will help prevent the level from increasing. The drug begins lowering your eosinophil count right away, but it can take several weeks to take full effect.
It may take a few weeks for your asthma symptoms to improve after your first dose of Cinqair. Your doctor can provide more information on how they’ll monitor whether the drug is working for you.
If you’d like to learn more about Cinqair, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can help answer any questions you have about how the drug works in your body.
If you’d like to learn about other aspects of Cinqair, you can explore these articles:
- More information about Cinqair. For details about other aspects of Cinqair, refer to this article.
- Drug comparison. To learn how Cinqair compares with Nucala, read this article.
- A look at eosinophilic asthma. For details about eosinophilic asthma, see our asthma and allergies hub.
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