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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


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Xolair (omalizumab)

Audience: Pulmonary healthcare professionals, asthmatic patients
Indications and Usage: for treatment of adults and adolescents (12 years of age and above) with moderate to severe persistent asthma who have a positive skin test or in vitro reactivity to a perennial aeroallergen and whose symptoms are inadequately controlled with inhaled corticosteroids. Xolair has been shown to decrease the incidence of asthma exacerbations in these patients. Safety and efficacy have not been established in other allergic conditions.

[UPDATE 07/02/2007] Genetech and FDA informed healthcare professionals and asthmatic patients that the prescribing information for Xolair was revised to include a new BOXED WARNING, and updated WARNINGS, PRECAUTIONS, and ADVERSE REACTIONS sections that address the risk of anaphylaxis (the onset of action can be delayed for 24 hours or more) when taking this medication. In addition, a new MEDICATION GUIDE was developed and will be provided to patients when a prescription for Xolair is filled or refilled at the pharmacy. Due to the risk of anaphylaxis, Xolair should only be administered to patients in a healthcare setting under direct medical supervision. Patients should be observed for an appropriate period of time following each Xolair injection.

[Posted 02/21/2007] FDA notified asthmatic patients and healthcare professionals of new reports of serious and life-threatening allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) in patients after treatment with Xolair (omalizumab). Usually these reactions occur within two hours of receiving a Xolair subcutaneous injection. However, these new reports include patients who had delayed anaphylaxis—with onset two to 24 hours or even longer—after receiving Xolair treatment. Anaphylaxis may occur after any dose of Xolair (including the first dose), even if the patient had no allergic reaction to the first dose. Health care professionals who administer Xolair should be prepared to manage life-threatening anaphylaxis and should observe their Xolair-treated patients for at least two hours after Xolair is given. Patients under treatment with Xolair should be fully informed about the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis, their chance of developing delayed anaphylaxis following Xolair treatment, and how to treat it when it occurs. FDA has requested Genentech add a boxed warning to the product label and to revise the Xolair label and provide a MEDICATION GUIDE for patients to strengthen the existing warning for anaphylaxis.

[July 2, 2007 - Healthcare Professional Information - FDA]
[July 2, 2007 - Prescribing Information - Genetech]


[February 21, 2007 - Drug Information Page - FDA]
[February 21, 2007 - News Release - FDA]