Xolair: see the side effects and if the medicine is fattening

Advances in medicine are enabling more quality of life and health for many people.

An example of this is the biological remedies that are being used more and more in the treatment and prevention of diseases.

Among these remedies is Xolair, which was approved in Brazil only in 2004.

Despite being a little studied drug, especially in relation to adverse effects, studies have shown significant improvements in the symptoms of people suffering from chronic urticaria or allergic asthma .

Know more about him:

What is Xolair?

Xolair is a biological remedy, based on the active substance omalizumab, produced with monoclonal antibody.

Its use is subcutaneous (application under the skin). Xolair is for hospital use only and must be applied by a trained professional for this purpose. The application takes place at intervals that vary between 2 and 4 weeks, depending on the person’s need.

How does he act?

Our body produces several substances. Among them is Immunoglobulin E (or simply IgE), which is an antibody.

When there are allergies and infections in the body (such as dermatitis ), IgE is elevated, which causes typical symptoms of asthma and dermatitis, such as itching, red patches on the skin, difficulty in breathing, among others.

Xolair acts by decreasing IgE rates and, thus, helps the immune system to return to balance and control symptomatic manifestations.

What is the medicine Xolair for?

Xolair is a drug indicated for the treatment of allergic asthma in people over 6 years. It can also be used to treat chronic spontaneous urticaria (ECU) in those who are over 12 years old.

Learn a little more about these conditions:

Spontaneous Chronic Urticaria (ECU)

Hives are lesions (similar to wounds) that can manifest throughout the skin, causing itching, redness and swelling.

The ECU is characterized by lasting more than 6 weeks and having unknown causes. The group most at risk for the development of this disease are women between 20 and 40 years old.

It does not have a permanent cure, although the symptoms can be relieved with medications and other forms of treatment that must be prescribed by a dermatologist.

Allergic asthma

Allergic asthma tends to start in childhood and last for a lifetime, with more or less intense attacks over the years.

It is caused by an allergen (such as perfumes, medicines, hair, dust, etc.), which invades the immune system. Thus, there is an allergic reaction that triggers the asthmatic crisis.

Symptoms are coughing , chest pain , difficulty breathing, noises when breathing and a feeling of pressure in the chest, lungs, throat or nose.

Is Omalizumab injection for hives?

Xolair is an injectable medication, based on the active substance Omalizumab. It is indicated, according to the package insert, to treat Chronic Spontaneous Urticaria (ECU), in addition to allergic asthma when other conventional therapies have not worked.

There are not enough studies to know whether this drug is safe in the treatment of other types of hives and, therefore, it should not be prescribed for these other purposes.

Does Omalizumab Cause Sinusitis?

The pain and pressure in the sinuses (cheeks and forehead) that is known as sinusitis is one of the side effects of this drug. However, the condition tends to be limited, requiring a few days for the symptoms to resolve.

To treat this condition correctly, seek the assistance of a general practitioner or otorhinolaryngologist.

Is Xolair Generic?

Xolair is the name of the biological medicine whose main active substance is Omalizumab. In Brazil, there is no drug that is generic or similar to Xolair.

Does SUS provide?

No, the Unified Health System does not offer this medication.

As a substitute for Xolair, SUS offers other therapies, according to the care and diagnosis protocols.

However, patients with guidance for use can request the purchase of the drug through the legal process.

To learn more about the legal quotation and to have a personalized service, it is possible to access the legal quotation advice for high-cost medications.

Why doesn’t SUS offer this medication?

The Unified Health System does not offer this medication because the tests done with Xolair lasted only 1 year.

This research time is enough for the drug to be registered with the National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA). But for Xolair to be offered by SUS, more tests are needed.

In addition, another reason why this medicine is not offered for free is that it can cause anaphylaxis (intense allergic reaction) in more rare and severe cases.

What are the side effects of Xolair?

Side effects of Xolair treatment may include drowsiness or dizziness . Therefore, vehicles should not be driven or machines should be operated after use.

It can still cause:

  • Headaches;
  • Fever;
  • Sinusitis;
  • Pain in the bones or muscles;
  • Stuffy nose;
  • Swelling, itching, pain or redness at the injection site;
  • Infections and inflammations in the respiratory system;
  • Drop in blood pressure;
  • Fainting;
  • Nausea and vomiting;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Skin wounds;
  • Cough;
  • Tingling of the limbs;
  • Loss of hair;
  • Anaphylaxis.

Anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction that occurs when there is contact with allergens (such as insect bites and medications) that have sensitized the immune system.

It has fast action (between a few minutes and 2 hours after contact) and causes symptoms such as chest pain, difficulty breathing, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and unconsciousness.

Between 30 minutes and 1 hour after these symptoms appear, others may appear, such as cardiac or respiratory arrest, in addition to body part failure or death.

Contraindications: who should not use Xolair?

This medicine contains sugar and therefore should be used with caution by patients who have diabetes .

Pregnant women and people with kidney problems should also use this medicine with caution to avoid complications or worsening of previous clinical conditions.

Seniors over 65 and children under 6, in addition to women who are breastfeeding should use the medication with caution, always evaluating, together with the medical team, the benefits and risks of the medication.

Is Xolair fattening?

In some cases, yes . The package leaflet for the drug indicates that although it is an unusual adverse reaction (it happens between 0.1% and 1% of patients), Xolair can contribute to the increase in body weight.

Price and where to buy

The only pharmaceutical company that sells Xolair in Brazil is Novartis. The exclusive presentation for hospital use (syringe) is priceless, since marketing is direct with chains of authorized hospitals and clinics.

The version that contains 1 vial with freeze-dried powder for subcutaneous use and 1 ampoule with 2mL of diluent can be found for an average price of R $ 2,852.00 *. It can be ordered in pharmacies and pharmaceutical laboratories.

* Price researched at Consulta Remédios in November 2019. Prices may change.


Xolair is a drug indicated to treat allergic asthma and spontaneous chronic urticaria. This medication is controversial and divides the opinion of researchers.

Therefore, the correct thing is to always follow the medical guidelines and clarify all doubts with a health professional. The newsroom of Hickey solution brings other information about medicines . Follow our posts and have more quality of life.

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