Xolair

Generic Name: Omalizumab

  • What is Xolair?

    Xolair is an injectable medicine for patients ≥12 years old with moderate to severe persistent allergic asthma whose asthma symptoms are not controlled by inhaled corticosteroids.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Xolair?

    A severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis has happened in some patients after they received Xolair. Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening condition and can lead to death, so seek emergency medical treatment immediately if symptoms occur. Signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis include wheezing, shortness of breath, cough, chest tightness, trouble breathing, low blood pressure, dizziness, fainting, rapid or weak heartbeat, anxiety, feeling of "impending doom," flushing, itching, hives, feeling warm, swelling of the throat or tongue, throat tightness, hoarse voice, or trouble swallowing.

    Anaphylaxis from Xolair can occur right after receiving a Xolair injection or hours later and after any Xolair injection. Anaphylaxis has occurred after the first Xolair injection or after many Xolair injections. There have been reports of anaphylaxis up to 4 days after receiving Xolair.

    Your healthcare provider should monitor you for a period following the injection for signs or symptoms of anaphylaxis.

    You should not receive Xolair if you have ever had an allergic reaction to a Xolair injection.

    Do not change or stop taking any of your other asthma medicines unless your healthcare provider tells you to do so. Do not abruptly stop taking corticosteroids when starting Xolair. Follow your doctor's instructions to gradually decrease your corticosteroid use as directed. You may not see an improvement in your asthma right away after beginning Xolair.

    Xolair should always be injected by your healthcare provider. Your doctor will monitor you for any signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis.

    An increased incidence of cancer has been reported in adults and adolescents ≥12 years old receiving Xolair.

    Xolair does not relieve acute symptoms. Do not use Xolair to treat an acute asthma attack (e.g., acute bronchospasm or status asthmaticus).

    Rarely, people with asthma receiving Xolair may experience a significant increase in a type of white blood cell disorder (eosinophilia) and inflamed blood vessel walls (vasculitis), which may be due to the reduced use of corticosteroids. Your doctor will monitor you for eosinophilia, heart problems, and breathing problems that worsen.

    Tell your doctor if you may be at risk for parasitic infections (e.g., history of recent travel especially involving areas with poor sanitation).

  • Who should not take Xolair?

    You should not receive Xolair if you have ever had an allergic reaction to a Xolair injection.

    The safety and effectiveness of Xolair have not been established in children <6 years old.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Xolair?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Xolair. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have had allergic reactions to Xolair, cancer, acute symptoms such as trouble breathing, increased white blood cell counts, a history of traveling or immigration especially areas with poor sanitation, are taking corticosteroids, are pregnant, might be pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. Tell your doctor if you may be at risk for parasitic infections.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    You will receive Xolair injection from your doctor. Xolair should always be injected in your doctor's office. The recommended starting dose of Xolair is 150-375 milligrams (mg) by injection under the skin (subcutaneous) every 2 or 4 weeks. Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate dosage for you depending on your levels of IgE (a type of antibody) and body weight.

  • How should I take Xolair?

    Xolair should always be injected in a healthcare setting by your doctor or another healthcare provider.

  • What should I avoid while taking Xolair?

    Do not change or stop taking any of your other asthma medicines unless your healthcare provider tells you to do so. Do not abruptly stop taking corticosteroids when starting Xolair. Follow your doctor's instructions to gradually decrease your corticosteroid use as directed. You may not see an improvement in your asthma right away after beginning Xolair.

    Keep all follow-up visits with your doctor. Xolair should always be injected in a healthcare setting by a healthcare provider.

    Do not use Xolair to treat an acute asthma attack. Xolair does not relieve acute symptoms.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Xolair?

    No significant interactions have been reported with Xolair at this time. However, always tell your doctor about any medicines you take, including over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

  • What are the possible side effects of Xolair?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: anaphylaxis (symptoms include wheezing, shortness of breath, cough, chest tightness, trouble breathing, low blood pressure, dizziness, fainting, rapid or weak heartbeat, anxiety, or feeling of "impending soom", flushing, itching, hives, feeling warm, swelling of the throat or tongue, throat tightness, hoarse voice, or trouble swallowing), upper respiratory infection, inflamed sinuses, headache, sore throat, injection-site reactions (e.g., bruising, redness, burning at injection site), increased white blood cell levels, hair loss, difficulty for blood to clot, viral infection

  • Can I receive Xolair if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Xolair during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, are breastfeeding, or planning to breastfeed. Your doctor may encourage you to enroll in the Xolair Pregnancy Exposure Registry by calling 1-866-4XOLAIR. Xolair should only be used if the potential benefit justifies the risk to the fetus or infant.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Xolair?

    Xolair should be given by a healthcare provider in your doctor's office. If you missed your scheduled dose, it is best to speak to your healthcare provider for advice.

  • How should I store Xolair?

    Your healthcare provider will store Xolair for you.

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