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Fasenra

I wondered if anyone was on Fasenra here?  Its not common yet, but I switched from Xolair to Fasenra two months ago.  I would love to hear from anyone who's been on it, pros/cons, did it help etc.   Thanks 

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  • LK

    Hi Linda!  

    I have not been on Fasenra but have been on Xolair for 3 months and it seems to be helping me.  May I ask, how long were you on the Xolair and did you find that it helped you?  What made you decide to switch to Fasenra?

    Thank you!!

  • Melissa G

    Hi Linda! Welcome to AAFA!  I don't have any experience to share just wanted to say welcome. 

  • Linda Gid
    LK posted:

    Hi Linda!  

    I have not been on Fasenra but have been on Xolair for 3 months and it seems to be helping me.  May I ask, how long were you on the Xolair and did you find that it helped you?  What made you decide to switch to Fasenra?

    Thank you!!

    HI LK, when I first went on Xolair it was a new drug, some years back.  I was told about 1/3 of the patients see significant improvement (lowering maint meds etc), 1/3 see some improvement (reduced or avoid hospital etc) and 1/3 see no change.  I was on it for a few years, my Dr's felt it was helping, as while I never reduced any reg meds I did not have many flair ups most of those years.  The hard part is I tend to have good years, and some terrible ones (where I am on predn without stop and/or in patient or going outpatient for daily or near daily IV steroids), so was it some good years for other reasons or was it the Xolair, I was never sure.  I stopped taking it after a while as I was on the two shots every two weeks dose then and the cost of the meds along with the cost the Dr office was charging, and not being sure if it was helping.    Flash forward a few more years I went back on it, my lung Dr thought it might help, I had been in the cycle of flair ups, even tnough I reduced triggers where I could etc.   This time my levels meant one shot and once a month, have done that for the last maybe 3 years.  Some ok years, but more bad than good….  In addition to a referral to a different specialist in a new hospital (Boston) my pulm Dr also mentioned they were having good results with the patients who tried Fasenra; it took about3 months of insu/etc etc and I started it in May.  its too soon to know if it will help, as I started it while on a cycle of pred and solumedrol, had my second monthly injection a few weeks ago. it stretches out to 8 weeks after the 3rd shot.   Like Xolair its a biologic and targets a specific thing, so not sure if it will help for me, but am trying it and so I stopped the Xolair when I started this.  

    I am very glad the Xolair is helping you!  these drugs al have risks, but I believe they are worth it as with out the ability to breathe, well where would we be right

  • Linda Gid
    Melissa G posted:

    Hi Linda! Welcome to AAFA!  I don't have any experience to share just wanted to say welcome. 

    Thanks Melissa

     

  • Linda Gid
    K8sMom2002 posted:

    Hi, Linda! I "saw" you on another thread. How has the Fasenra been so far?

    Hi Cynthia  

    So far ok, as in no real side effects, or nothing critical.  I remembered this process from the Xolair when I first started, so I did get the EpiPen (darn rip off cost wise, but that's another story), and have taken an antihistamine the night before, as I did with the Xolair as it reduces any injection site reaction/hives/bumps.  

    The Dr office said they had seen some patients with improvements after the first 1 or 2 shots.  But as I have been on the hamster wheel of extra steroids (on top of maint ones), I didn't expect it to make me "healthy".  having the 3rd shot in a few days, am a bit stable this week, weening extra pred, so we'll see I guess.  Fingers crossed 

  • LK

    Hi Linda,  Thank you for sharing your experience with these meds.  I am so sorry that you have had such a rough time over the years.  I was diagnosed 5 1/2 years ago and only last fall when I found these forums on AAFA did I really start to learn about my asthma.  I'm still learning!!    I had never run into anyone else who had severe uncontrolled asthma before meeting the great folks here.

    Sending good wishes   to you and will keep you in my prayers that the Fasenra will help you!!  

  • K8sMom2002

    Linda, SO glad it's doing well for now! And here's a great blog about tips on saving $$ on epinephrine … it's on AAFA's Kids With Food Allergies website:

  • tkdgirlms

    My dr is trying to get me on fasenra but insurance is balking at this – of course, it's totally new in my area and I'm the first at my dr's office. Any pointers that might help?

  • Brenda Silvia-Torma

    @tkdgirlms, Welcome to the forums!  I haven't walked through that process, but I know others have (either for Fasenra, or other asthma-related drugs). I'll let them chime in about any pointers/suggestions they may have.

    So glad you found us!!

  • Melissa G

    TKDGIRLMS, has your dr submitted a letter of medical of necessity along with any testing results? We have found the more paperwork that is submitted the easier it is to get something approved. 

  • Kathy P

    It's so frustrating! I spent nearly 2 months dealing with trying to get a treatment covered/approved. Finally, the doctor's office filed a claim with the state insurance commission. I don't know for sure if that was what finally did it, but I got the paperwork that it was approved the same day I got the letter from the insurance commissioner asking for more info!

  • tkdgirlms

    Update: insurance is still denying but Astra-Zenneca (??) has decided to give me some samples to see if it helps then we can go to insurance and show the results to hopefully get it covered. I haven't heard when I'll start the shots but figure it'll be at my next appt in 2 weeks.

  • K8sMom2002

    Yay! I do hope that the insurance will come through! Have you asked your insurance if they do peer review? That's when your doctor talk to doctors at the insurance company, or your doctor's nurse talks with nurses at the insurance company. Sometimes that can help.

    Also, you can always try your state insurance commissioner. Health insurance is regulated at the state level, so they should have a way to begin an investigation into a claim. 

  • Melissa G

    We have had to request peer to peer review and contact our State Insurance Commissioner before….

  • tkdgirlms

    I've had my first shot and until today, couldn't tell any difference. Today (Monday) I haven't used inhaler or neb so far. Hope it's the shot but it could be coincidence as it's happened before. One thing that surprised me, I have to carry an epipen – I assume that's because the shot is still new and there is a possibility of anaphylactic shock.

    Fingers crossed!!

  • K8sMom2002

    TKDGirlMs, I'm hoping the shot helps and makes a difference! Yes, while any medication can cause an allergic reaction, most people taking either Fasenra or a similar drug do get prescribed an epinephrine auto-injector. Have you had any trouble getting your auto-injector? 

  • tkdgirlms

    At first I was told that they weren't sure if they'd be able to get it as the manufacturer had it on back-order. Next thing I knew, my pharmacy had it in the next day for me! Yeah, I'd never seen an epipen in person so was quite a surprise to me. So far no trouble!

  • Melissa G

    So glad to hear you have not had to use your inhaler or neb! That's fantastic! How are you doing today?

  • tkdgirlms

    Had my 2nd Fasenra shot and I can tell improvement! Instead of using my neb 3-4 times a day, it's more like 2-3 times (or less) a week. I do still use my rescue inhaler a bit but even that's down. 

  • K8sMom2002

    Oh, my goodness, that is FANTASTIC! I'm so glad you aren't having to rely so much on your rescue inhaler!

  • tkdgirlms

    Y'all – Fasenra is da bomb!! I rarely use my neb or rescue inhaler these days – my poor neb looks lonely!  I know everyone reacts differently but I recommend Fasenra! 

  • LK

    TKDGIRLMS,  That's wonderful that it is helping you so much!!      Hope it continues to help you even more!  I'm sure your neb will get along just fine by itself!