A team of researchers have evaluated mepolizumab, a new antibody-based drug for certain patients with severe asthma, and found it can replace traditional, steroid-based treatments for a specific subset of patients, resulting in improved outcomes and reduced side effects.
“This new drug is the only therapy that has been proven to be effective in well-established clinical trials to help reduce doses of steroid-based treatments such as prednisone for those with severe asthma,” said Dr. Parameswaran Nair, staff respirologist, Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton.
Patients with severe asthma often require high doses of steroid-based treatments that can significantly impair their quality of life.
These high doses can cause debilitating side effects including mood swings, diabetes, bone loss, skin bruising, cataracts and hypertension. Previous research at the Hamilton institutions has identified specific types of patient with severe asthma have an overabundance of a particular type of white blood cell (eosinophils) present in their sputum.
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