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Patients Share Their Stories

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Rachel faces her CIU with XOLAIR

Rachel's friends thought it was allergies. One doctor quarantined her for bedbugs. After experiencing itchy flares every day for 6 years, she was finally diagnosed with CIU. This made it easier to explain her condition, but not to manage her symptoms. Despite being on H1 antihistamines, she still experienced CIU symptoms. When an opportunity came up to try XOLAIR, she was ready to hear about it from her doctor. Finding a doctor specially trained to diagnose and treat CIU made all the difference. You can find one too with the CIU Physician Locator.


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Gene asks his allergist about XOLAIR

Gene is glad he was able to see a doctor specially trained to diagnose and treat CIU right away. From the start, he and his allergist worked as a team to look for a cause of his chronic hives. And finally, when no cause was found, he was diagnosed with CIU. When Gene heard about XOLAIR on social media, he was still uncontrolled on H1 antihistamines. So he asked his allergist about XOLAIR and began treatment soon after.

Stephanie finds additional relief with XOLAIR

It took a long time for Stephanie to accept that CIU has no known cause. But she couldn't accept that she continued to have CIU symptoms on H1 antihistamines. Stephanie was determined to find a doctor specially trained to diagnose and treat CIU — and she did. With the help of her new allergist, she finally found additional relief from the constant itch she just couldn't scratch. Today, she receives XOLAIR.

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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 chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU; chronic hives without a known cause) who continue to have hives that are not controlled by H1 antihistamine treatment.

XOLAIR is not used to treat other forms of urticaria.


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 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 4 weeks.
  • In patients with chronic hives, a blood test is not necessary to determine the dose or dosing frequency.
  • Do not decrease or stop taking any of your other hive 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.
  • 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 people with chronic idiopathic urticaria: nausea, headaches, swelling of the inside of your nose, throat or sinuses, cough, joint pain, and upper respiratory tract infection.

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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