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Allergic Asthma Diagnosis

If you think you may have allergic asthma, it's important to first find out if you have any allergic triggers. This can be done with a skin or blood test. The next step to finding out if you have allergic asthma is to ask your doctor for an IgE test.

How does an IgE test help diagnose allergic asthma?

An IgE (immunoglobulin E) blood test is a test that tells the doctor how much IgE is in your body. IgE is an antibody that plays a major role in allergic asthma. Your immune system produces IgE when it detects an allergen. This is what causes the allergic reaction to begin. In this case, if your allergic asthma is moderate to severe and uncontrolled on an inhaled steroid, your doctor may prescribe a medication that is designed to help block IgE.

Find a doctor in your area and get an IgE test.



Use the Physician Locator

Talking to a specialist about allergic asthma

If you haven’t seen a specialist, you may consider seeking an allergist or a pulmonologist. An allergist may be able to help you figure out if your asthma is triggered by allergens. A pulmonologist is skilled at treating respiratory problems. Both treat allergic asthma fairly regularly. This may help you:

  • Get diagnosed quickly
  • Find out about treatment options for your condition.

Why do you think it would be good for me to see an allergist or a pulmonologist?

What is this? WHAT IS MY Q’S? Click on highlighted questions throughout the site to add that question to My Q’s. When you’re done you can print your list of questions to bring to the doctor. Close

What you should discuss with your allergic asthma specialist

No matter what kind of doctor you speak to, it’s important to tell him or her how your asthma symptoms affect you. Don’t leave anything out. Be sure to talk about:

  • Symptoms you have and how often you have them
    • Asthma attacks
    • Wheezing, coughing
    • Shortness of breath
    • Chest tightness
  • How long you have had these symptoms
  • Places you avoid because they may trigger an asthma attack

For some people, getting diagnosed with allergic asthma can take some time.
This may be because:

The sooner you can see an allergic asthma specialist and get officially diagnosed, the closer you may be to a treatment option that works for you.


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    What is XOLAIR?

    XOLAIR® (omalizumab) for subcutaneous use is an injectable prescription medicine used to treat adults and children 12 years of age and older with moderate to severe persistent asthma whose asthma symptoms are not controlled by asthma medicines called inhaled corticosteroids. A skin or blood test is performed to see if you have allergies to year-round allergens.

    XOLAIR is not used to treat other allergic conditions, acute bronchospasm or status asthmaticus.


    What is the most important information I should know about XOLAIR?

    A severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis can happen when you receive XOLAIR. The reaction can occur after the first dose, or after many doses. It may also occur right after a XOLAIR injection or days later. Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening condition and can lead to death. Go to the nearest emergency room right away if you have any of these symptoms of an allergic reaction:

    • wheezing, shortness of breath, cough, chest tightness, or trouble breathing
    • low blood pressure, dizziness, fainting, rapid or weak heartbeat, anxiety, or feeling of "impending doom"
    • flushing, itching, hives, or feeling warm
    • swelling of the throat or tongue, throat tightness, hoarse voice, or trouble swallowing

    Your healthcare provider will monitor you closely for symptoms of an allergic reaction while you are receiving XOLAIR and for a period of time after your injection. Your healthcare provider should talk to you about getting medical treatment if you have symptoms of an allergic reaction after leaving the healthcare provider's office or treatment center.

    Do not receive XOLAIR if you are allergic to omalizumab or any of the ingredients in XOLAIR.

    Before receiving XOLAIR, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

    • have any other allergies (such as food allergy or seasonal allergies)
    • have sudden breathing problems (bronchospasm)
    • have ever had a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis
    • have or have had a parasitic infection
    • have or have had cancer
    • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if XOLAIR may harm your unborn baby.
    • if you become pregnant while taking XOLAIR, talk to your healthcare provider about registering with the XOLAIR Pregnancy Registry. You can get more information and register by calling 1-866-4XOLAIR (1-866-496-5247) or visit
    • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if XOLAIR passes into your breast milk.

    Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements.

    How should I receive Xolair?

    • Xolair should be given by your healthcare provider, in a healthcare setting.
    • Xolair is given in 1 or more injections under the skin (subcutaneous), 1 time every 2 or 4 weeks.
    • In asthma patients, a blood test for a substance called IgE must be performed prior to starting Xolair to determine the appropriate dose and dosing frequency. Do not decrease or stop taking any of your other asthma medicine unless your healthcare providers tell you to.
    • You may not see improvement in your symptoms right away after Xolair treatment.

    What are the possible side effects of XOLAIR? XOLAIR may cause serious side effects, including:

    • See, "What is the most important information I should know about XOLAIR" regarding the risk of anaphylaxis.
    • Cancer. People who receive treatment with XOLAIR may have a higher chance for getting certain types of cancer.
    • Fever, muscle aches, and rash. Some people who take XOLAIR get these symptoms 1 to 5 days after receiving a XOLAIR injection. If you have any of these symptoms, tell your healthcare provider.
    • Parasitic infection. Some people who are at a high risk for parasite (worm) infections, get a parasite infection after receiving XOLAIR. Your healthcare provider can test your stool to check if you have a parasite infection.
    • Some people who receive XOLAIR have had chest pain, heart attack, blood clots in the lungs or legs, or temporary symptoms of weakness on one side of the body, slurred speech, or altered vision. It is not known whether this is caused by Xolair.

    The most common side effects of XOLAIR:

    • Pain especially in your arms and legs, dizziness, feeling tired, skin rash, bone fractures, and pain or discomfort of your ears.

    These are not all the possible side effects of XOLAIR. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

    You may report side effects to the FDA at (800) FDA-1088 or You may also report side effects to Genentech at (888) 835-2555 or Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation at 888-669-6682.

    Please see full Prescribing Information, including Medication Guide, for additional important safety information.

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