Omalizumab for AsthmaSkip to the navigation
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. This medicine costs a lot more than any of the standard treatments for asthma.
This medicine may help reduce asthma episodes, improve peak expiratory flow (PEF) , and reduce the need for other medicines. It may also reduce emergency room visits and hospital stays. But more study is needed.
Omalizumab is given as a shot. The dose depends on your body weight and IgE level.
Your doctor may recommend this medicine if:
- Your asthma is not well controlled after using inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting beta2-agonists or leukotriene pathway modifiers for 3 months. People who use oral or injected corticosteroids or who need high doses of inhaled corticosteroids for daily control can also consider using this medicine.
- You have severe allergic asthma and your symptoms aren't relieved by avoiding allergens or taking other medicines.
Severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis , can occur with omalizumab, but this is rare. So people who get this medicine are watched for 2 hours after they get their first 2 doses. They should also carry epinephrine in case they have an allergic reaction after treatment.
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.
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Rohit K Katial, MD - Allergy and Immunology
Current as ofSeptember 9, 2014