- What is omalizumab? How does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What is omalizumab used for?
- 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 you know about omalizumab?
What is omalizumab? 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.
- The brand name for omalizumab is Xolair.
- Omalizumab is available in generic for sterile powder injection; 5 ml vial (150 mg).
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.
What is the dosage for omalizumab?
Omalizumab is injected under the skin. The recommended dose is 150-375 mg every 2 to 4 weeks. The dose and frequency is based on body weight and levels of serum IgE, a type of antibody that is important in promoting some types of allergic reactions. Doses greater than 150 mg should be divided and administered at different sites so that no more than 150 mg is administered at each injection site.
Which drugs or supplements interact with omalizumab?
Drug interaction studies have not been conducted with omalizumab.
Latest Asthma News
Daily Health News
Is omalizumab safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Omalizumab has not been adequately studied in pregnant women.
Use of omalizumab by nursing mothers has not been adequately evaluated. Since antibodies similar to omalizumab are excreted in human breast milk, it is likely that omalizumab also is excreted in breast milk.
What else should you know about omalizumab?
How should I keep omalizumab stored?
Omalizumab should be refrigerated between 2 C to 8 C (36 F to 46 F). When mixed with sterile water, the solution should be used within 8 hours if refrigerated between 2 C to 8 C (36 F to 46 F) or within 4 hours if stored at room temperature.
Omalizumab (Xolair) is a drug prescribed for the treatment of asthma that is not adequately controlled with inhaled steroids. Xolair is an injectable drug. Side effects, drug interactions, and patient warnings should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
Related Disease Conditions
Neutropenia (Causes, Symptoms, Ranges, Treatment)
Neutropenia is a marked decrease in the number of neutrophils, neutrophils being a type of white blood cell (specifically a form of granulocyte) filled with neutrally-staining granules, tiny sacs of enzymes that help the cell to kill and digest microorganisms it has engulfed by phagocytosis. Signs and symptoms of neutropenia include gum pain and swelling, skin abscesses, recurrent ear and sinus infections, sore mouth, low-grad fever, pneumonia-like symptoms, and pain and irritation around the rectal area. Neutropenia has numerous causes, for example, infections (HIV, TB, mono); medications (chemotherapy); vitamin deficiencies (anemia); bone marrow diseases (leukemias), radiation therapy, autoimmune destruction of neutrophils, and hypersplenism. Treatment of neutropenia depends upon the cause and the health of the patient.
Asthma: Over the Counter Treatment
Patients who have infrequent, mild bouts of asthma attacks may use over-the-counter (OTC) medications to treat their asthma symptoms. OTC asthma medicines are limited to epinephrine and ephedrine. These OTC drugs are best used with the guidance of a physician, as there may be side effects and the drugs may not be very effective.
Asthma is a condition in which hyperreactive airways constrict and result in symptoms like wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. Causes of asthma include genetics, environmental factors, personal history of allergies, and other factors. Asthma is diagnosed by a physician based on a patient's family history and results from lung function tests and other exams. Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) and long-acting bronchodilators (LABAs) are used in the treatment of asthma. Generally, the prognosis for a patient with asthma is good. Exposure to allergens found on farms may protect against asthma symptoms.
There are two types of asthma medications: long-term control with anti-inflammatory drugs and quick relief from bronchodilators. Asthma medicines may be inhaled using a metered-dose inhaler or nebulizer or they may be taken orally. People with high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid disease, or heart disease shouldn't take OTC asthma drugs like Primatene Mist and Bronkaid.
There are many unusual symptoms of asthma, including sighing, difficulty sleeping, anxiety, chronic cough, recurrent walking pneumonia, and rapid breathing. These symptoms may vary from individual to individual. These asthma complexities make it difficult to accurately diagnose and treat asthma.
Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
FDA Prescribing Information.