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Asthma Biologic Therapy Treatment in St. Louis

Asthma biologic therapy treatment can provide relief when your asthma doesn’t respond to standard therapies. Learn more about biologic therapy treatmentfor asthma from board-certified Allergist Dr. Sonia Cajigal in St. Louis, Missouri. Contact us to schedule your appointment today!

“Dr. Cajigal was friendly, professional, and informative. She took the time to explain the tests and what was going on with my allergies. She is so knowledgeable and really cared about how I was feeling. I would highly recommend this practice if you suffer from allergies and asthma.”

– Sue D, July 2020

Biologic Therapy Specialist Dr. Sonia Cajigal of St. Louis Family Allergy in St. Louis, Missouri
Biologic Therapy Specialist Dr. Sonia Cajigal of St. Louis Family Allergy review badges and affiliations

About Biologic Therapy

Overview

Approved Biologics

Why Biologics?

What to Expect

Our Shot Schedule

What is Biologic Therapy?

A newer class of medications called ‘biologic therapies’ have been developed to target unique pathways responsible for inflammation in moderate-to-severe asthma when standard therapies are ineffective. Biologic therapies are unique in that they target a specific antibody, inflammatory molecule, or cell receptor.

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Woman receiving bioloigc therapy for asthma

Approved Asthma Biologic Therapies

There are currently five different biologic therapies that are approved for asthma treatment in the United States, three of which are also indicated for related conditions including eczema, hives, and chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP). Because of the targeted nature of biologics, an asthma patient may respond more favorably to one type of biologic therapy over another.

Dupixent (Dupilumab)

Indicated for eosinophilic asthma, eczema, and chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP). Dupixent works by blocking interleukin-4 (IL-4) and interleukin-13 (IL-13), two proteins that are responsible for allergic inflammation in asthma. Dupixent is given as an injection every 2 weeks. Unlike other biologics, Dupixent can be self-administered by adults or administered by parents when prescribed to children 12 and older.

Xolair (Omalizumab)

Indicated for severe allergic asthma, hives, and chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP). Omalizumab works by reducing the amount of IgE in the body. IgE is produced when a person has an allergic reaction, too much of which can cause inflammation in the lungs. Omalizumab is given as an injection every 2 to 4 weeks.

Nucala (Mepolizumab)

Indicated for eosinophilic asthma, eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA), hypereosinophilic syndrome (HES), and chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP). Mepolizumab also works by reducing the number of eosinophils. Mepolizumab is usually injected every 4 weeks.

Fasenra (Benralizumab)

Indicated for eosinophilic asthma. Benralizumab also works by reducing the number of eosinophils. Benralizumab is injected every 4 weeks for the first 3 doses and then every 8 weeks afterwards.

Cinqaero (Reslizumab)

Indicated for eosinophilic asthma. Reslizumab works by reducing the number of eosinophils (a type of white blood cell) in the body, lowering the inflammation that can cause asthma symptoms and attacks. Reslizumab is usually injected every 4 weeks.

Why Biologic Therapy For Asthma?

Most cases of asthma are managed effectively with standard therapies. Standard therapies usually consist of identifying and avoiding triggers, taking controller medication, and using a quick-relief inhaler when symptoms develop. Some individuals, however, experience frequent symptoms even when taking standard therapies. In such individuals, biologic injections for asthma have been shown to decrease the frequency of asthma attacks, requiring fewer interventions with oral steroids, less emergency room visits, and less hospitalizations.

Additional benefits of biologics include reduced asthma symptoms, improved lung function, reduced dosage of other controller medication, and less missed school and work days. Patients on biologics have told us that they are much less stressed about flare ups, are more confident in going out and meeting people, and are much less restricted in their day-to-day lives.

If biologic therapy sounds like the right solution for your asthma, you should start by discussing your situation with Dr. Cajigal.

Biologic Therapy

in St. Louis, Missouri

Biologic therapy injection equipment, serum and needle

What to Expect with Biologic Therapy

If you’re a good candidate for biologics and decide to proceed with treatment, you will still need to take your usual medicines, including your inhalers, even if you are on a biologic therapy. It’s also important that you’ve been following your standard treatment plans, and taking your prescribed medicines properly even if you feel they’re not very effective.

Unlike other medications for asthma, most biologics are administered in Dr. Cajigal’s office either as a subcutaneous injection or as an intravenous infusion. Biologic injection visits are usually required every two to eight weeks depending on your regimen.

With some biologics, Dr. Cajigal may want to observe you in the office for 30 minutes up to two hours after administration to minimize any unforeseen side effects. Dupixent (Dupilumab) is the one biologic that can be self-administered at home.

If your asthma does not improve after receiving 4 to 12 months of a biologic treatment, or you have been unable to reduce your daily steroid use, Dr. Cajigal will reassess your asthma and you may be offered another biologic treatment. If you have a successful trial, Dr. Cajigal will develop a personalized plan for you to continue long-term treatment.

Potential Biologic Therapy Side Effects

Overall, studies have shown biologics to be quite safe. A small percentage of patients experience side effects from biologic injections, including minor irritation at the injection site, headaches, tiredness, sore throat, and other cold-like symptoms.

Some biologics carry a small risk of anaphylaxis, so your allergist will typically prescribe an epi pen in case of severe reaction. Biologics can also interact adversely with certain types of parasitic infections or with herpes zoster (the virus responsible for chickenpox in children and shingles in adults), but instances of this are also rare.

Our Biologic Shot Schedule

We are currently providing biologic injections by appointment throughout our regular business hours: Monday to Thursday, 8:30am to 4:00pm.

We hope you’ve found this information helpful. Get in touch with us at St. Louis Family Allergy to learn more about biologic therapy. We’re looking forward to your visit!

References

[1] American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: https://acaai.org/
[2] Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: https://www.aafa.org/
More Specialties

Asthma

Drug Allergies

Eye Allergies

Food Allergies

Nasal Allergies

Skin Allergies

Allergy Shots

Allergy Testing

Biologic Therapy

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Visit Allergist Dr. Sonia Cajigal of St. Louis Family Allergy in St. Louis, Missouri

Asthma Specialist
Dr. Sonia Cajigal

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St. Louis Family Allergy Google review score badge
"Dr. Cajigal was friendly, professional, and informative. She took the time to explain the tests and what was going on with my allergies. She is so knowledgeable and really cared about how I was feeling. I would highly recommend this practice if you suffer from allergies and asthma."

- Sue D, July 2020

“Dr Cajigal is a great listener. She trusts her patients instead of treating them as if they are not the experts of their own bodies. I really appreciate that (many doctors do not have that quality). She also immediately treats the symptoms instead of waiting to see if things clear. I use her for my children and myself. We have never left her office feeling as if it was a waste of time.”

– Stephanie, August 2020

"Great Allergist!"

- Ann H, December 2018

"She is the best."

- Stephen W, June 2020

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