Home > Health & Wellness > Health Library > Omalizumab for Asthma
Omalizumab (Xolair) is a medicine approved by the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in people age 12 and older who have moderate
or severe persistent
asthma. Omalizumab is much more expensive than any of the conventional
treatments for asthma.
Omalizumab works by blocking immunoglobulin E (IgE) from attaching to
allergens. When IgE attaches to an allergen, it sets
off a process that eventually leads to the symptoms of an
Omalizumab may help reduce asthma episodes, improve
peak expiratory flow (PEF), reduce the need for other
medicines, and reduce emergency room visits and hospitalizations. But more study is needed.
Omalizumab is injected, and the dose is determined by a person's body
weight and IgE level.
Your doctor may recommend this medicine if:
allergic reactions, including
anaphylaxis, are possible when taking omalizumab,
but this is rare. So people who get omalizumab are watched for 2 hours
after they receive their first 2 doses. They should also carry epinephrine
in case they have an allergic reaction after omalizumab
Other Works Consulted
Chung KF, et al. (2014). International ERS/ATS guidelines on definition, evaluation and treatment of severe asthma. European Respiratory Journal, 43(2): 343–373. DOI: 10.1183/09031936.00202013. Accessed March 11, 2014.
Current as of:
April 16, 2014
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Rohit K Katial, MD - Allergy and Immunology
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