Allergic Asthma Treatment: Starting XOLAIR (Omalizumab)

What to Expect When You Go for Your XOLAIR Allergic Asthma Injection

Going for your first XOLAIR injection may bring up mixed emotions—maybe you’ve never done anything like this before. You or your child may be feeling excited, or overwhelmed, or hopeful, or all of them, and more. Sometimes, a little information can help relieve the stress of the unknown. Here are a few details about what will happen when you arrive at the injection center:

  • Before every injection, patients or their caregivers should be given the XOLAIR Medication Guide to read. 
  • Then, the XOLAIR injection is administered by a doctor or nurse who is prepared to manage anaphylaxis. The XOLAIR injection is given under the skin (subcutaneous) and is a slightly clear, viscous fluid, like syrup.
  • During and after the injection the doctor will watch for signs of anaphylaxis [an-uh-fuh-lak-sis]. Anaphylaxis is a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction.
  • After the injection, you will have to wait for some time while the doctor continues to watch for signs of any side effects.
  • Before you leave the injection center, the doctor will remind you to continue to look for signs of anaphylaxis even during the following days and weeks when not receiving an injection.

Preparing Your Child for Injection Day

If you are a parent or caregiver taking your child for his or her first XOLAIR injection, it may be a good idea to prepare them. Especially if he or she has a fear of needles. Here are some things you might try:

  • Educate your child about why the XOLAIR injection is important and how it may help his or her allergic asthma.
  • Look for role models together or peers who also get injections.
  • Create a coping card. Have your child write out brave statements on an index card ahead of injection day. For example, "Other children like me with allergic asthma have gotten a needle. I can do it." During the injection, hold up the cards for your child to read.
  • Tell your child that he or she will get a reward after the XOLAIR injection. A small toy or a homemade coupon for his or her favorite dessert may do nicely.

About the Actual XOLAIR Injection

Whether you’re preparing for your XOLAIR injection, or you’re preparing your child for his or her XOLAIR injection, one thing that can be helpful would be to understand the details of the injection itself. 

XOLAIR Dosing and Frequency

  • 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
  • Depending on the dose, 1, 2, or 3 injections may be given during each visit
  • Doses should be adjusted for significant changes in body weight
XOLAIR Subcutaneous Injection

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.

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