Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas Negotiations: Latest Update
COVID-19 Resources: Keeping you safe | Vaccine Information | Visitor Policy and Hours
View All Services
Find a New Primary Care Provider
Search by Specialty
View All Locations
Discover classes, events, tours, and groups that fit your interests.
Home > Be Healthy > Health Library > Omalizumab for Asthma
Omalizumab (Xolair) is a medicine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in people age 12 and older who have moderate or severe persistent asthma. This medicine costs a lot more than any of the standard treatments for asthma.
The medicine works by blocking immunoglobulin E (IgE) from attaching to allergens. When IgE attaches to an allergen, it sets off a process that leads to the symptoms of an allergic reaction.
This medicine may help reduce asthma episodes, improve peak expiratory flow (PEF), and reduce the need for other medicines. It may also reduce emergency room visits and hospital stays. But more study is needed.
Omalizumab is given as a shot. The dose depends on your body weight and IgE level.
Your doctor may recommend this medicine if:
Severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, can occur with omalizumab, but this is rare. So people who get this medicine are watched for 2 hours after they get their first 2 doses. They should also carry epinephrine in case they have an allergic reaction after treatment.
Other Works Consulted
Chung KF, et al. (2014). International ERS/ATS guidelines on definition, evaluation and treatment of severe asthma. European Respiratory Journal, 43(2): 343–373. DOI: 10.1183/09031936.00202013. Accessed March 11, 2014.
Current as of:
July 6, 2021
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney MD - Family MedicineRohit K Katial MD - Allergy and Immunology
Current as of: July 6, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Rohit K Katial MD - Allergy and Immunology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2021 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.