What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking omalizumab if you have:
- Plans to travel to an area with a high risk for parasitic infections
- Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant (see Xolair and Pregnancy)
- Breastfeeding (see Xolair and Breastfeeding).
You should also tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
(Click Precautions and Warnings With Omalizumab for more information, including information on who should not take this drug.)
How Does Omalizumab Work?Normally, air moves easily into and out of the lungs through a network of airways. However, when you have asthma, the inside walls of your airways are inflamed (swollen). This makes the airways very sensitive, and they tend to react strongly to things that you are allergic to or find irritating (see Asthma Triggers). When the airways react, a few things happen: The muscles around these airways tighten, inflammation inside the airways increases, and the cells inside the airways produce more mucus. These reactions narrow the airways and make it harder to breathe.
Omalizumab is an asthma medication that belongs to a group of drugs called monoclonal antibodies. These medicines are used to treat a wide variety of conditions, including asthma. IgE antibodies play an important role in allergic reactions. Omalizumab works by binding to IgE antibodies, thereby helping to prevent asthma attacks.
It is currently unknown how exactly omalizumab works to treat chronic idiopathic urticaria.
(Click Asthma Treatment for information about other medicines used for this medical condition.)