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Home > 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. 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 allergic reaction.
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:
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.
Current as of: June 9, 2019
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineRohit K. Katial, MD - Allergy and Immunology
Current as of:
June 9, 2019
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Rohit K. Katial, MD - Allergy and Immunology
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