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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.
The medicine works by blocking immunoglobulin E (IgE) from attaching to
allergens. When IgE attaches to an allergen, it sets
off a process that leads to the symptoms of an
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:
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.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerRohit K Katial, MD - Allergy and Immunology
Current as ofJanuary 19, 2016
Current as of:
January 19, 2016
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
& Rohit K Katial, MD - Allergy and Immunology
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