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New Asthma Treatments: What Are Biologics?

Biologics are genetically-engineered medications made from the cells of living organisms and modified to target antibodies, inflammatory molecules, or cell receptors naturally occurring in humans. They target these molecules in order to suppress the inflammation which may trigger allergic diseases, such as asthma. A unique facet of biologics is their ability to target one specific molecule associated with the disease. This makes biologics a very precise therapy.

If your asthma symptoms – such as shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing – haven’t improved with inhaled corticosteroids, oral steroids, short-acting beta-agonists, or other standard treatments, we recommend you consult your physician for a comprehensive discussion to decide if biologics may be right for you.

Biologics are reserved for patients failing standard medications. They are designed to treat patients with severe refractory asthma. Before prescribing biologics, your doctor should check that you are taking other controller medications as instructed and avoiding triggers to your asthma.

The predominant mode of biologics administration is systemic care by health-care providers. Patients receive either a subcutaneous injection (a shot underneath the skin) or intravenous infusion (administered through an IV). Patients should expect to continue to take their current asthma medications and inhalers after receiving biologics treatment. If your asthma gets more under control over time, your doctor will tell you if you can decrease the dose of any inhalers or medications.

If you wish to learn more or discuss your concerns with an expert – or you simply want to “breathe better” again – call “The Lung Docs” at 423-710-3864 for an appointment. It’s one number, one call, that’s all!