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Talking to Your Doctor About XOLAIR

If you think you or your child may have allergic asthma, seeking out an allergist or a pulmonologist who can diagnose and treat the condition is an important step. Next, you want to be sure you're prepared to get the most out of your office visit. Here is a good place to start. Throughout this website you’ve probably seen questions that you can add to My Q’s. My Q’s is a collection tool that helps you build your Doctor Discussion Guide. All of the My Q’s questions on the site are included below, along with several others.

XOLAIR is not a substitute for the medicines you are already taking. Do not change or stop taking any of your other asthma medicines unless your doctor tells you to do so.

Doctor Discussion Guide

Click "Preview Your Doctor Discussion Guide" to view questions to discuss with your doctor.

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Questions about allergic asthma

  • Could asthma like this be allergic asthma?
  • What is IgE?
  • Do you recommend getting an allergen test specific for IgE?
  • Why do you think it would be good to see an allergist or a pulmonologist?
  • Why would allergic asthma still be uncontrolled?
  • How do I know if this is moderate to severe allergic asthma?
  • Is it normal to avoid certain things that bring on asthma symptoms, such as ______________?
  • What else can be done to avoid allergic triggers?

Questions about XOLAIR

  • Would XOLAIR be right for me/my child?
  • What are the risks and potential side effects of XOLAIR?
  • How does XOLAIR work?
  • How often do patients go for XOLAIR injections?
  • Where do patients go for XOLAIR injections?
  • How long does each XOLAIR injection visit take?
  • How long does it take for XOLAIR to start working?
  • Why is XOLAIR an injection?
  • What happens if an injection appointment is missed?

Questions about allergic asthma treatment

  • Are there other medications that block IgE?
  • When asthma is uncontrolled, what more can be done?
  • If XOLAIR isn't right for me/ my child, what else can you suggest that we do?

Questions about what to expect on XOLAIR

  • Is it common to have an allergic reaction to XOLAIR?
  • I/my child have had allergy shots in the past. Are XOLAIR injections given in a different way?
  • Can XOLAIR be taken with other medications?

Questions about paying for XOLAIR

  • Will my insurance cover XOLAIR?
  • Who is eligible for the XOLAIR Co-pay Card?
  • How long will it take to get insurance approval for XOLAIR?
  • How do I get started with XOLAIR Access Solutions?
  • I understand there are programs that may offer help paying for XOLAIR. How does that work?

Selected Questions

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      What is XOLAIR?

      XOLAIR® (omalizumab) for subcutaneous use is an injectable prescription medicine used to treat patients 6 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?

      Severe allergic reaction. 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.
      • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if XOLAIR passes into your breast milk. Talk with your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby while you receive XOLAIR.

      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. Cases of cancer were observed in some people who received XOLAIR.
      • Inflammation of your blood vessels. Rarely, this can happen in people with asthma who receive XOLAIR. This usually, but not always, happens in people who also take a steroid medicine by mouth that is being stopped or the dose is being lowered. It is not known whether this is caused by XOLAIR. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have rash; chest pain; shortness of breath; or a feeling of pins and needles or numbness of your arms or legs.
      • 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.
      • Heart and circulation problems. 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:

      • In adults and children 12 years of age and older with asthma: pain especially in your arms and legs, dizziness, feeling tired, skin rash, bone fractures, and pain or discomfort of your ears.
      • In children 6 to less than 12 years of age with asthma: common cold symptoms, headache, fever, sore throat, pain or discomfort of your ear, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and nose bleeds.

      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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