Biologics: A New Asthma Treatment Option

Not finding relief from your inhaler? Biologics for asthma may help.

Loading the player...

When you think of asthma treatment, you probably think of inhalers. Inhaled medications have been a staple of asthma treatment since the mid-20th century. Inhalers help many people with asthma find relief and achieve good asthma control. For those who don’t find relief with inhalers, a new option may help: biologics for asthma.

Traditionally, treatment for asthma works up a ladder, from mild to more aggressive treatments. Patients may first start with a short-acting bronchodilator, or a rescue inhaler. The next step is to add a long-acting bronchodilator, or a controller inhaler. Learn the difference between the two inhalers here.

Patients who continue having symptoms despite using the standard treatments may be a candidate for biologics for asthma. As a result, they may find relief from asthma symptoms and achieve better asthma control.

What Are Biologics for Asthma?

Biologics are a type of medicine that help treat inflammation. Most commonly, they help treat autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. In general, biologics target the specific parts of the immune system that fuel inflammation.

In 2003, the first biologic for asthma received approval by the Food and Drug Administration. According to the FDA, the biologic was for people with moderate to severe persistent asthma. People whose symptoms are poorly controlled by the standard inhaled treatments may also be a candidate.

Finding Relief from Asthma Symptoms

Biologics for asthma can be life-changing for people with uncontrolled asthma. For example, they may reduce the frequency of asthma attacks. Plus, biologics may prevent hospitalizations, emergency room visits, and the need for oral steroids.

Good asthma control from biologics has so many benefits for patients. Without the disruption of asthma episodes, you may enjoy fewer missed days of school or work, fewer cancelled plans, and more opportunities to enjoy your favorite activities.

If you feel like you don't have control over your asthma, talk to your doctor. They can help you assess your asthma control. If necessary, they can adjust your treatment plan. This may or may not include biologics. Either way, the goal is to find the treatment that reduces your symptoms and improves you quality of life.