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Asthma

Omalizumab Use Before Allergy Season May Reduce Asthma Flare-ups

fallchildrenPhoto: Thinkstock

Children who use omalizumab before the fall allergy season begins may help reduce their risk of asthma flare-ups during the season, especially among those who’ve had a recent exacerbation, according to a new study.

“Our study shows that an effective, preventative strategy for fall exacerbations can be achieved with targeted, seasonal treatment using omalizumab, suggesting a paradigm shift for managing high-risk patients,” said study author Dr. Stephen Teach, with Children’s National Health System in Washington, D.C.

Other key features of the study, which will be published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology:

  • The rate of flare-ups and attacks was significantly lower in the group who got omalizumab injections vs. a group who were given a placebo (11.3 percent vs. 21 percent).
  • The children involved were inner-city youths between the ages of 6 and 17, each of whom had had at least one exacerbation during the fall seasons of 2012 and 2013.
  • For children who had experienced a flare-up or attack in the 4-6 week period before the fall season when they were studied, use of omalizumab was even more effective: 6.4 percent had flare-ups after using omalizumab before the season, compared to 36.3 percent treated with a placebo; when pre-season use of omalizumab was compared to using inhaled corticosteroids in the same period, the difference was equally startling: 2 percent vs. 27.8 percent.

Read the full study here.

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