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Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Services 133 Littleton Road, Suite 103
Westford, MA 01886

Xolair Injections

What is Xolair (omalizumab), and why is it being prescribed?

The allergic person makes too much of a certain protein in the body, called IgE antibody. The overproduction of this protein may result in the development of various allergic conditions such as allergic rhinitis (hay fever), allergic asthma, venom sensitivity, food or drug allergy.

Xolair is a drug that acts by binding to the IgE antibody in the blood stream and hence neutralizes (blocking) its actions. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Xolair for the treatment of patients with moderate to severe allergic asthma and chronic urticaria (hives).

Xolair is indicated for adults and adolescents (≥12 years of age) who have moderate to severe asthma that is not currently controlled with inhaled corticosteroids and are sensitive (allergic) to perennial (year-round) aeroallergens. For example: dust mites, animals, mold, cockroach and certain pollens. Xolair is also considered in patients ≥12 years of age with chronic hives.

Benefit

Xolair has been shown to decrease the number of asthma attacks in patients with more moderate to severe allergic asthma, and in some patients it allows a reduction in, and sometimes complete elimination of, other asthma medications.

In patients with chronic urticaria, Xolair has been shown to reduce the number of hives and the amount of itching associated with the hives, in patients that are non-responsive to antihistamines (ex. Zyrtec, Allegra, Claritin).

How is it administered, how often is it given and for how long?

Your Xolair dose will be chosen based on your body weight and the results of a blood test that measures your level of IgE. You will receive 1-2 injections of Xolair in your upper arm every 2 to 4 weeks depending on these factors. Unless your weight changes significantly, the dose and injection schedule should not change once your treatment has started.

It may take several months before you begin to notice benefits from Xolair. However, once benefits are observed, they should last for as long as you continue to receive your regular injections. If for some reason your injections are stopped, we would expect the effects of Xolair to wear off within 6 months to a year. There are no lasting benefits from taking this medication.