Xolair

1 What is Xolair?

Brand: Xolair

Generic: Omalizumab

Xolair is an IgE blocker used for the treatment of moderate to severe persistent allergic asthma. This drug is used when asthma cannot be controlled sufficiently by other asthma drugs.

This drug cannot relieve an asthma attack that has already begun. Chronic idiopathic urticaria can also be treated with this drug especially in patients who continue to have hives that are not controlled by an antihistamine.

IgE plays an important role in allergic asthma as it is produced when allergens are present in the body. This drug blocks the production of IgE. This drug is to be given only by or under the direct supervision of your healthcare professional.

2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Xolair, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it. Inform your healthcare provider for any allergic reactions to these drugs or any other drugs, foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals.

Carefully read the label of non-prescription drugs for any possible allergic reaction or contraindications. Use of omalizumab injection in children younger than 12 years of age is not recommended while safety and efficacy have not been established.

Studies in the elderly have not demonstrated any geriatric-specific problems that would limit the utility of omalizumab injection. Indications of harm to the fetus have not been reported in animal studies but studies in pregnant women or animals are still inadequate.

Infant risk is still undetermined when using this drug during breastfeeding. Discuss with your healthcare professional about the potential risks and benefits of taking this drug while breastfeeding.

Drugs should not be taken together to prevent any interactions but in necessary cases inquire your healthcare provider regarding the adjustments in dosage or any other necessary precautions to prevent any unwanted side effects.

Inform your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription drugs. Intake of specific food or using alcohol or tobacco with this drug is associated with an increased risk of certain side effects. Your healthcare professional can give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Inform your healthcare professional if you have any other medical problems such as asthma attack, bronchospasm, other allergic conditions, cancer, or parasitic infections.

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3 Proper Usage

Proper usage of Xolair requires strict adherence to your doctor’s orders. A trained healthcare professional will be the only one to give you this drug. This drug is injected under your skin. You will receive omalizumab once every 2 or 4 weeks for asthma.

Your dose will be determined by your healthcare professional based on your IgE level and body weight. The number of injections per dose will be determined by your healthcare professional. Each dose will be given in a different place on your body if you need more than 1 injection.

This drug cannot treat sudden asthma attacks. It is not a substitute for the drugs you are already taking. Check with your healthcare professional before you suddenly stop taking, or change the dose of your inhaled steroids or any other asthma drug.

You will receive this drug every 4 weeks for the treatment of chronic idiopathic urticaria. Consult with your healthcare professional for any concerns.

4 Precautions to Take

Before using Xolair, there are some precautions you must take. Regular visits should be made to your healthcare provider to track your progress and to monitor the effectiveness of the drug.

Unwanted effects can be screened using blood tests and other exams. Your symptoms are anticipated to return if you stop receiving omalizumab injection.

This drug will take the time to work and you may not notice any immediate improvement in your asthma after omalizumab treatment begins. It is important to continue your omalizumab injections until your healthcare professional tells you otherwise.

Seek immediate medical attention if you experience symptoms of anaphylaxis such as:

Seek immediate medical attention if you have symptoms of eosinophilia such as:

  • worsening lung symptoms
  • rash or bruising of the skin
  • fever
  • chest pain or burning
  • tingling or numbness in the hands and feet after receiving this drug

A condition called vasculitis may also be present. You will be advised to remain at the healthcare facility or clinic for at least 2 hours after each injection to watch for immediate side effects that can be serious.

Fever, rash, or muscle or joint pain can occur with this drug. The risk of getting certain cancers or infections may be increased by this drug. Talk to your healthcare professional for any concerns.

5 Potential Side Effects

Make sure you meet with your doctor in using Xolair to avoid unwanted potential side effects. Side effects may vary for each individual and prompt medical attention should be given if they occur.

Seek advice from your healthcare professional immediately if you experience any unusual symptoms such as:

  • Cough
  • Difficulty with swallowing
  • Dizziness
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Hives, itching, or skin rash
  • Malignant tumor
  • Puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine, the side effects will slowly disappear. Ask your healthcare professional about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

If any of the following side effects persists or are inconvenient, or if you notice any other effects, or if you have any questions about them, consult with your health care professional. Report any side effects to the FDA hotline at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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