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Omalizumab

Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Immunological Agent Xolair™ Adult, Children

Omalizumab - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Omalizumab cause?

Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. The side effects caused by omalizumab are usually mild to moderate but can occasionally be serious.

Common side effects:

  • Fever

  • Reactions at the injection site including pain, swelling, itching and redness

  • Pain in the upper part of the tummy

  • Headache

Uncommon side effects

  • Feeling dizzy, sleepy or tired

  • Tingling or numbness of the hands or feet

  • Fainting, low blood pressure while sitting or standing (postural hypotension), flushing

  • Sore throat, coughing, acute breathing problems

  • Feeling sick (nausea), diarrhoea, indigestion

  • Itching, hives, rash, increased sensitivity of the skin to sun

  • Weight increase

  • Flu-like symptoms

  • Swelling arms

Serious, but rare side effects:

  • Sudden severe allergic reactions: if you notice any serious sudden signs of allergy or combination of signs such as rash, itching or hives on the skin, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, larynx (voice box), windpipe or other parts of the body, fast heartbeat, dizziness and lightheadedness, shortness of breath, wheezing or trouble breathing, or any other new symptoms, tell your doctor or nurse immediately.

  • Development of one or more of the following symptoms: swelling, pain or rash around blood or lymph vessels, high level of a specific type of white blood cells (marked eosinophilia), worsening problems with breathing, nasal congestion, heart problems, pain, numbness, tingling in the arms and legs (signs of “Churg-Strauss syndrome or hypereosinophilic syndrome”).

  • Low blood platelet count with symptoms such as bleeding or bruising more easily than normal.

  • Development of any of the following symptoms, especially if in combination: joint pain with or without swelling or stiffness, rash, fever, swollen lymph nodes, muscle pain (signs of serum sickness).

If you or your child experience any of these, tell your doctor or nurse straight away.

Before taking Omalizumab, what precautions must I follow?

Talk to your doctor before you or your child is given Omalizumab:

  • If you or your child is allergic to omalizumab or any of the other ingredients of this medicine (L-arginine hydrochloride, L-histidine hydrochloride, L-histidine, Polysorbate 20 and latex).
  • If you or your child have kidney or liver problems.
  • If you or your child have a disorder where your own immune system attacks parts of the body (autoimmune disease).
  • If you or your child is travelling to such a region where infections caused by parasites are common as Omalizumab may weaken body's resistance to such infections.

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Omalizumab?

  • Updated on Wednesday, October 4, 2017
  • Article contributed by Pharmacy Department KK Women's and Children's Hospital

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