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Omalizumab Injection

Why is this medication prescribed?

Omalizumab injection is used to decrease the number of asthma attacks (wheezing, shortness of breath, and trouble breathing) in patients with allergic asthma whose symptoms do not respond sufficiently to inhaled steroids. Omalizumab is in a class of medications called monoclonal antibodies. It works by blocking the activity of IgE cells (cells in the body that cause asthma symptoms) and stopping the release of substances in the body that cause an allergic response.

How should this medicine be used?

Omalizumab injection comes as a solution to inject subcutaneously (under the skin). It is usually injected in a doctor's office once every 2 weeks or every 4 weeks. You will have to stay in the doctor's office for a short while after the injection to be monitored for serious side effects.

It may take some time before you feel the full benefit of omalizumab.

Other uses for this medicine

This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before using omalizumab injection,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to omalizumab, or any other medications.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking.
  • tell your doctor if you smoke and if you have or have ever had any type of cancer.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while using omalizumab, call your doctor.
  • do not decrease the dose(s) of your other asthma medication(s) or stop taking them without talking to your doctor.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss an appointment to receive an omalizumab injection, call your doctor as soon as possible.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Omalizumab injection may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • pain, redness, swelling, warmth, burning, stinging, bruising, hardness, or itching in the place omalizumab was injected
  • pain, especially in joints, arms, or legs
  • excessive tiredness
  • dizziness
  • ear pain

Some side effects can be serious. The following symptoms are uncommon, but if you experience any of them, call your doctor immediately:

  • hives
  • skin rash
  • itching
  • difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • swelling of the face, throat, tongue, or lips

Omalizumab may increase the risk of developing cancer, including breast, skin, and prostate cancer. Talk to your doctor about the risks of using this medication.

Omalizumab may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.

Your doctor will store the medication in his or her office.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT