Article Title

Anti-IgE for chronic asthma in adults and children


Anti-Immunoglobulin E (Omalizumab/Xolair) for chronic asthma in adults and children.

Allergic people produce Immunoglobulin E (IgE) when exposed to environmental allergens, and IgE binds to mast cells in the airways. Acute exposure to the allergen causes mast cells to release chemicals (such as histamine) causing itching, sneezing, blocked nose, wheezing, shortness of breath and cough. This review of trials found that anti-IgE, a treatment developed to remove IgE from the circulation, led to a reduction, and in some cases, withdrawal of regular inhaled steroid use and a reduction in asthma exacerbations. Compared with placebo, effects were relatively modest. Side effects were few and mild-moderate in the short term; longer term evaluation is needed. Patient and physician assessment of the effectiveness of therapy were positive.



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