Allergic Asthma and XOLAIR Frequently Asked Questions
Search below for answers to questions regarding allergic asthma and
Whether you have allergic asthma or another type of asthma, the symptoms are the same:
- Wheezing and coughing
- Chest tightness
- Shortness of breath
- Waking up during the night
- Requiring rescue medication
Read more about allergic asthma symptoms.
XOLAIR® (omalizumab) for subcutaneous use is an injectable
prescription medicine used to treat moderate to severe persistent
asthma in people 6 years of age and older whose asthma symptoms are
not well controlled with asthma medicines called inhaled
corticosteroids. A skin or blood test is performed to see if you have
allergies to year-round allergens. It is not known if XOLAIR is safe
and effective in people with asthma under 6 years of age.
XOLAIR is not used to treat other allergic conditions or sudden breathing problems.
Learn how XOLAIR may help.
IgE levels, body weight, and age determine how much XOLAIR is needed and if injections will be needed every 2 weeks or every 4 weeks. Your XOLAIR prescribed dose may require more than 1 injection. Doses should be adjusted for significant changes in body weight.
After you've established treatment in a doctor's office or infusion
center, your doctor will determine if you or your caregiver may inject
XOLAIR. If your doctor decides that you or a caregiver may be able to
give your own XOLAIR prefilled syringe injections, you should receive
training on the right way to prepare and inject XOLAIR. Do not try to
inject your XOLAIR prefilled syringe until you have been shown the
right way to give XOLAIR injections by your doctor.
When a person with allergic asthma breathes in an allergen such as pet dander, dust mites, or cockroach debris the body responds by making a substance called IgE (Immunoglobulin E). When the allergen is breathed in again, IgE attaches to the allergen and to the surface of the inflammatory cells. This releases substances that may cause inflammation (swelling and narrowing) in the airways. This inflammation can cause asthma symptoms that can lead to an attack.
To get a better understanding of which allergens may be causing your asthma attacks, talk to your doctor about an IgE test.
Read more on how XOLAIR may work.
Adding XOLAIR has been shown to:
- Help reduce attacks and symptoms in appropriate allergic asthma patients 12 years of age and older*.
- Help reduce attacks in appropriate patients 6 to less than 12 years old*. In a study of these patients, there was no difference in symptom reduction between patients taking XOLAIR and patients not taking XOLAIR.
Your results may vary. *View the full XOLAIR allergic asthma clinical study results to learn more.
If you have allergic asthma, you may continue taking inhaled corticosteroids while on XOLAIR. As a reminder, inhaled corticosteroids is a category of prescription asthma medicine that asthma patients use for everyday, long-term treatment; patients breathe-in the medicine through an inhaler. Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements.
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 treatment is initiated. Your healthcare provider should
talk to you about getting medical treatment if you have symptoms of an
Do not receive and use XOLAIR if you are allergic to omalizumab or any of the ingredients in XOLAIR.
Click here for more important safety information regarding XOLAIR.
The most common side effects of XOLAIR:
- In adults and children 12 years of age and older with asthma: joint pain especially in your arms and legs, dizziness, feeling tired, itching, skin rash, bone fractures, and pain or discomfort of your ears.
- In children 6 to less than 12 years of age with asthma: swelling of the inside of your nose, throat, or sinuses, headache, fever, throat infection, ear infection, abdominal pain, stomach infection, 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 www.fda.gov/medwatch. 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.
After you've established treatment in a doctor's office or infusion center, your doctor will determine if you or your caregiver may inject XOLAIR. If your doctor decides that you or a caregiver may be able to give your own XOLAIR prefilled syringe injections, you should receive training on the right way to prepare and inject XOLAIR. Do not try to inject your XOLAIR prefilled syringe until you have been shown the right way to give XOLAIR injections by your doctor. For children 12 years of age and older, XOLAIR prefilled syringe may be self-injected under adult supervision. For children 6 to 11 years of age, XOLAIR prefilled syringe should be injected by a caregiver. XOLAIR prefilled syringes come boxed and individually sealed in a plastic wrapper. Learn more about self-injection with the XOLAIR prefilled syringe.
A number of programs, including the XOLAIR Co-pay Program† have been created to help people who qualify to pay for XOLAIR and the cost of getting the injection, including doctor fees.
Read more about XOLAIR financial assistance.
†In order to be eligible for the XOLAIR Co-pay Program, the patient must confirm that they meet the eligibility criteria and agree to the rules set forth in the terms and conditions for the program. Please visit XOLAIRCopay.com for the full list of terms and conditions.