Omalizumab Highly Effective in Reducing Severe Asthma Symptoms

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Omalizumab Highly Effective for Severe Allergic Asthma
Omalizumab Highly Effective for Severe Allergic Asthma

(HealthDay News) — Omalizumab appears to be highly effective for the management of severe allergic asthma, according to a review of "real-life" effectiveness studies published online December 8 in Allergy.

Ivo Abraham, PhD, RN, from the University of Arizona in Tucson, and colleagues reviewed 24 real-life effectiveness studies of omalizumab in the treatment of severe allergic asthma. The studies included 4,117 unique patients from 32 countries; significant heterogeneity was seen among patients, clinicians, and settings.

The researchers identified short- and long-term benefits of anti-immunoglobulin E therapy in terms of improving lung function; achieving asthma control; and reducing symptomatology, severe exacerbations, and associated work/school days lost. In addition there were reductions in health care resource utilization, especially hospitalizations, hospital length of stay, and accident specialist or emergency department visits; reductions or discontinuation of other asthma medications; and improvement in quality of life. The positive short- and long-term safety profiles for omalizumab were similar to those seen in randomized controlled trials. Patients should be monitored for treatment response at 16 weeks; those with positive response were highly likely to show sustained treatment response and improved outcomes.

"Omalizumab therapy is associated with signal improvements across the full objective and subjective burden of illness chain of severe allergic asthma," the authors write. "Benefits of omalizumab may extend up to two to four years and the majority of omalizumab-treated patients may benefit for many years."

Several authors are employees of Matrix45.

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