What Is Cinqair?
Cinqair (reslizumab) is a prescription medication used to treat adults with severe eosinophilic asthma—a type of asthma that creates high levels of eosinophils. Eosinophils are a type of white blood cell and are part of your body's immune response. If eosinophil levels become too high, inflammation can occur and worsen your asthma symptoms.
Cinqair belongs to a group of drugs called monoclonal antibodies. It works by decreasing eosinophil levels, which can help reduce asthma attacks and improve your breathing.
Cinqair is an intravenous (IV) solution and must be administered intravenously (into your vein with a needle) by a healthcare provider.
Generic Name: Reslizumab
Brand Name: Cinqair
Drug Availability: Prescription
Therapeutic Classification: IL-5 inhibitor, monoclonal antibody
Available Generically: No
Controlled Substance: No
Administration Route: Intravenous
Active Ingredient: Reslizumab
Dosage Form: Intravenous solution
What Is Cinqair Used For?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Cinqair to treat adults with severe eosinophilic asthma who have not responded to other treatments. When added to your regular asthma treatment, Cinqair can help prevent severe asthma attacks and improve your breathing.
Cinqair is usually combined with other asthma medications for maintenance treatment. It's not a rescue medication and will not treat an active asthma attack. Talk with your healthcare provider about what you should do if you develop an asthma attack.
How to Take Cinqair
Cinqair is an intravenous (IV) medication that your healthcare provider administers into your vein as an infusion every four weeks. Each infusion typically takes 20–50 minutes. After receiving Cinqair, your healthcare provider will monitor you for any signs of an allergic reaction before going home.
How Long Does Cinqair Take to Work?
Cinqair helps reduce asthma attacks and improve your breathing over time. It may take up to four months of treatment to see the full effects.
What Are the Side Effects of Cinqair?
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. A healthcare provider can advise you on side effects. If you experience other effects, contact your pharmacist or a healthcare provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at fda.gov/medwatch or 1-800-FDA-1088.
Common Side Effects
Cinqair is generally well-tolerated, and most people don't experience any side effects. The most common side effects include throat pain and muscle pain. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop any side effects that bother you or don't go away.
Severe Side Effects
Rarely, Cinqair may cause serious and sometimes life-threatening reactions. Call your healthcare provider right away if you develop any severe side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening.
Serious side effects and their symptoms include:
A severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. These reactions can lead to death. Your healthcare provider will monitor you during your Cinqair infusion and after treatment. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop any signs of an allergic reaction, including:
- Trouble breathing
- Flushing, itching, or hives
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Fast heartbeat
- Nausea or vomiting
- Swelling of your face, lips, mouth, or tongue
Abnormal cell growth that may be cancerous.
Report Side Effects
Cinqair may cause other side effects. Call your healthcare provider if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your provider may send a report to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program or by phone (800-332-1088).
Dosage: How Much Cinqair Should I Take?
Your dose of Cinqair will normally be based on your weight. Your healthcare provider will calculate an appropriate dose for you. Cinqair is administered as an IV infusion (into your vein using a needle) by your healthcare provider once every four weeks.
Pregnancy: It is not known if Cinqair can harm a fetus. Let your healthcare provider know if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant before starting Cinqair.
Lactation: It is not known if Cinqair passes into breastmilk or what effect it can have on a baby. Talk with your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby.
Children: Cinqair is only approved to treat adults with severe eosinophil asthma. The safety and effectiveness of using Cinqair in children have not been studied.
Adults over 65 years: Based on results from clinical trials, Cinqair appears to be just as safe and effective in older adults compared to younger adults.
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Your doctor will check your progress closely while you are receiving this medicine. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to decide if you should continue to receive it and to check for unwanted effects.
This medicine may cause serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor right away if you have a rash, itching, lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing, or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth while you are using this medicine.
Keep using your corticosteroid medicine to control your asthma, in addition to this medicine. This includes steroid medicines that are taken by mouth or inhaled (including cortisone, fluticasone, prednisone).
Using this medicine may increase your risk of getting skin cancer. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about this risk.
It is important to tell your doctor that you are pregnant while you are receiving this medicine.
What Are Reasons I Shouldn’t Take Cinqair
Certain conditions increase your risk of developing complications from Cinqair. Do not take Cinqair if you:
- Are allergic to reslizumab or any other ingredient in Cinqair.
- Have a current helminth (parasitic worm) infection. You should receive treatment for your infection before starting Cinqair.
What Other Medications Interact With Cinqair?
Most medications don't interact with Cinqair. Still, it's important to keep an up-to-date list of all the medicines, supplements, and herbal preparations that you take and let your healthcare provider and pharmacist know any time there are changes.
What Medications Are Similar?
Cinqair belongs to a group of medications called monoclonal antibodies and works by decreasing eosinophil levels. Eosinophils are a type of immune cell that usually help protect your body against infections. But when eosinophil levels become too high, inflammation can occur and contribute to your asthma symptoms.
Other monoclonal antibodies that target eosinophils and treat eosinophilic asthma include:
- Fasenra (benralizumab)
- Nucala (mepolizumab)
Choosing between a monoclonal antibody will depend on several factors, including your age. Cinqair is only approved to treat adults, while Fasenra is approved to treat people 12 years and older. Nucala can be used in adults and children 6 years and older.
The route of administration also varies. Cinqair requires an intravenous (IV) infusion, while Nucala and Fasenra are administered as a subcutaneous injection (under your skin). After proper training, some people can administer Nucala or Fasenra at home, saving you the visit to your healthcare provider's office. All three products are administered every four weeks initially. However, after the first three doses, Fasenra only needs to be taken every eight weeks.
Finally, cost may also be a consideration. Your insurance provider may prefer one product over another. You and your healthcare provider will work together to determine the best treatment option for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Cinqair used for?
Cinqair is an add-on maintenance therapy for adults with severe eosinophilic asthma. When added to your current asthma treatment, Cinqair can help reduce asthma attacks and improve your breathing. Cinqair is a maintenance medication and will not work to treat an active asthma attack.
How does Cinqair work?
Cinqair targets eosinophils—a type of immune cell that becomes overactive in people with eosinophilic asthma. Cinqair helps decrease inflammation and improve your asthma symptoms by reducing eosinophil levels.
What are the side effects of Cinqair?
The most common side effects of Cinqair include throat pain and muscle pain. Rarely, Cinqair can cause a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Your healthcare provider will monitor you during your Cinqair infusion and after treatment for any signs of an allergic reaction.
How is Cinqair administered?
You will receive Cinqair every four weeks at a healthcare facility. A healthcare provider will administer your dose of Cinqair as an intravenous (IV) infusion using a needle that goes into your vein.
How Can I Stay Healthy While Taking Cinqair?
If you're struggling to get your asthma symptoms under control, your inhalers and even oral steroids may not be enough. Your healthcare provider may recommend starting a biologic product, like Cinqair, to help reduce asthma attacks and improve your breathing.
It's important to remember that Cinqair is a maintenance therapy. It is not a rescue medication and will not treat an active asthma attack. Talk with your healthcare provider about your asthma treatment regimen and make sure you know which medications to take if you develop trouble breathing.
Verywell Health's drug information is meant for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a healthcare provider. Consult your healthcare provider before taking any new medication(s). IBM Watson Micromedex provides some of the drug content, as indicated on the page.