Asthma Medication Approved to Treat Food Allergy

Asthma Medication Approved to Treat Food Allergy

( – On February 16, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug omalizumab, brand name Xolair, for the treatment of a severe reaction caused by a person accidentally eating a food they are allergic to.

Xolair was developed by Genentech and was first approved for treating asthma in 2003. It is a self-injectable product used every two to four weeks, with the dosage based on the weight of the patient.

This drug will reduce reactions produced by accidental ingestion of food that triggers a person’s allergic response. Patients from one-year-old and up may now take the injection with the same time frame and dosage approved for asthma patients.

The types of serious reactions from food allergies may include gastrointestinal distress, respiratory problems, or skin rashes. Some of the foods that cause this reaction include nuts, eggs, wheat, and milk products. Xolair is an antibody that binds and blocks the antibody, immunoglobulin E, that causes the allergic reaction.

According to the FDA, patients using Xolair must always avoid foods that cause allergic reactions because taking the drug only lessens those reactions if eaten accidentally.

The FDA has highlighted the fact that Xolair is not intended to treat immediate emergencies, including an anaphylaxis reaction. Anaphylaxis is often life-threatening, and medical treatment must be immediately sought, which includes an injection of epinephrine.

Johns Hopkins Children’s Center director, Dr. Robert Wood, stated that a majority of young people will choose to take Xolair as the results will be “life-changing.”

Xolair’s side effects are commonly just a reaction at the injection site and fever. The FDA has warned that it may also cause rash, malignancies, joint pain, abnormal laboratory tests, and parasitic infections. The drug label also warns that the injection may produce an anaphylaxis reaction, so the initial treatment must take place in a location that is staffed to handle that emergency situation.

According to Genentech, the cost of Xolair is between $3,000 and $5,000 a month, depending on dosage. Patients who are insured may pay less, depending on their co-pay.

Copyright 2024,