- What is omalizumab, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for omalizumab?
- Is omalizumab available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for omalizumab?
- What are the side effects of omalizumab?
- What is the dosage for omalizumab?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with omalizumab?
- Is omalizumab safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about omalizumab?
What is omalizumab, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Omalizumab is an injectable drug that is used for treating asthma. Omalizumab is a protein that resembles one type of human antibody. Antibodies are proteins produced by the body that recognize foreign substances such as bacteria (that cause infection) and pollens (that cause allergies). Once they recognize a foreign substance, the antibodies attach to receptors on two types of cells in tissues and blood, mast cells and basophils. These cells then release chemicals that cause an allergic reaction that leads to inflammation. Omalizumab blocks the receptors on the surfaces of the mast cells and basophils to which antibodies attach, thereby preventing antibodies from attaching to the cells. As a result, the cells do not release their chemicals, and the allergic reaction and inflammation are prevented. In asthmatic individuals, allergic reactions often cause attacks of asthma. Omalizumab reduces the attacks of asthma by preventing the allergic reactions caused by foreign substances. Omalizumab was approved by the FDA in June 2003.
What brand names are available for omalizumab?
Is omalizumab available as a generic drug?
GENERIC AVAILABLE: No PREPARATIONS: Sterile powder for Injection: 5 ml vial (150 mg)
Do I need a prescription for omalizumab?
What are the side effects of omalizumab?
The most common side effects observed in patients treated with omalizumab are:
- viral infections,
- upper respiratory tract infections,
- injection-site reactions such as
Use of omalizumab may also lead to serious, life-threatening allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) which manifest as bronchospasm with difficulty breathing, fainting, low blood pressure, and swelling of the tongue or throat.
It is recommended that patients be observed for these reactions for at least two hours after injection of omalizumab; however, these reactions can occur up to 24 hours or longer after the injections, and they have occurred even after one year of regular treatment. Since allergic reactions can occur after any dose, patients should carry medications for emergency self-treatment. In clinical trials cancer occurred more frequently in patients who took omalizumab.
Quick GuideAsthma Symptoms, Causes, and Medications
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