What are the potential adverse effects of omalizumab therapy in the treatment of asthma?

Updated: Nov 20, 2020
  • Author: Michael J Morris, MD, FACP, FCCP; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Prescribers must be prepared and equipped to recognize and treat anaphylaxis should it occur. Adverse effects are rare and include upper respiratory infection symptoms, headache, urticaria (2%) without anaphylaxis, and anaphylaxis (0.1% in studies and 0.2% in postmarketing surveillance). Transient thrombocytopenia has also been noted but not in humans. Antibodies are formed against the anti-IgE antibody, but these do not appear to cause immune complex deposition or other significant problems. To date, decreased IgE levels have not been shown to inhibit one’s ability to fight infection (including parasites). Registration trials raised a question of increased risk of malignancy, but this has not been seen in the postmarketing data.

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