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Anti Immunoglobulin E (Anti-IgE) Therapy

Anti-IgE treatment might be recommended if you have allergic asthma and you keep experiencing persistent symptoms despite taking your controller medications.

If you have allergic asthma (about 60% of asthma is caused by allergy), your symptoms are triggered when you inhale certain allergens in the air. These allergens cause a chain reaction that leads to inflammation in the lungs.

While inhaled steroids work by treating and reducing the inflammation, anti-IgE therapy works by keeping inflammation from developing in the first place. It does so by blocking immunoglobulin E, a substance in the body that is one of the underlying causes of inflammation in allergic asthma.

Anti-IgE therapy is only available by prescription. Unlike other asthma medications, it is not administered by pill or by inhaler. It needs to be injected once every two or four weeks by a doctor or other trained healthcare professional.

The only anti-IgE therapy available in Canada is omalizumab (Xolair®).

The most common side effects of anti-IgE therapy are: skin irritation or reaction at the site of the injection, and respiratory tract infections (e.g., common cold).

Frequently Asked Questions on Anti-IgE therapy

Who is Anti-IgE therapy for?
How quickly does anti-IgE therapy work?
Does omalizumab (Xolair®) have any serious side effects?
Will I still need to keep taking my inhalers?
How often is omalizumab given?
Who will administer the injection?