Introduction of Xolair (omalizumab) for Urticaria
About Urticaria (hives)
There are a number of causes of urticaria. Food allergies, such as those caused by eating blue fish (mackerel and horse mackerel), crustaceans (shrimp and crab), pork, and buckwheat are well known, but urticaria can also be caused by a wide range of other factors, including certain medications, bacterial and viral infections, and sensitivity to sunlight and mechanical stimuli.
What is Xolair?
When identifying the cause of urticaria, tests such as intradermal tests, prick tests, drug tests, and reactions to mechanical stimuli are performed to determine the symptoms. However, in the majority of cases, despite the various tests, we are unable to identify the cause.
Xolair, manufactured and marketed by Novartis Pharmaceuticals, is a medication used for patients for whom the cause of reaction cannot be identified through tests and for whom existing treatments have not been sufficiently effective.
In particular, it suppresses IgE, which is thought to be ones of the causes of chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU). By suppressing IgE, it is expected to inhibit the production of histamine, which causes urticaria, and to reduce allergic symptoms.
Unlike general antiallergic drugs and steroids, Xolair is not a drug that rapidly reduces symptoms that have already occurred.
If no effect is observed after 12 weeks of treatment, discontinuation of the drug should be considered.
Xolair treatment at our clinic
We have introduced Xolair for the treatment of hives and will administer it to those who are eligible for it after a detailed examination. The drug can also be self-injected.
Patients Eligible for Xolair Treatment
- Patients who have had inadequate response to conventional treatment.
- Patients aged 12 and up.
- Patients who have an unknown cause of hives.
- Patients who have no history of hypersensitivitiy to Xolair.
※Women who are pregnant or lactating should consult their physician.
After administration of Xolair, patients should be aware of the following symptoms
- Dyspnea (shortness of breath)
- Drop in blood pressure
- Generalized rash
- Generalized itching
- Swelling of the mucous membranes of the lips, tongue, throat, etc.
*If you experience any of the above symptoms, please contact your doctor or medical institution immediately.
Medical Expenses for Xolair
Expenses depend on how Xolair is used, but in general, 300mg is administered once every four weeks. In this case, the cost would be approximately 90,000 yen per month.
(The usual initial and follow-up consultation fees, medication fees, and dispensing fees will be charged in addition to that.)
The amount to be paid by the patient at the hospital varies according to age, income, and medical insurance system (municipal national health insurance, union health insurance, etc.), but it is generally between 10% and 30% copayment. In addition, there are also measures to reduce the burden, such as the High-Cost Medical Care Cost System. For details, please contact your insurer (municipal or corporate health insurance association).