Aa
A
A
A
Close
Asthma Community
2.25k Members
Avatar universal

Does xolair work and is it safe?

my asthma is still bad sometimes with sleep apnea under dulera, symbicort and prednisone
does xolair help cases like mine?  is it safe long term, are there any side effects?
thanks
17 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi,

Before considering Xolair, you need to make sure that you have covered all other allergy treatments - testing and immunotherapy, good antihistamine (like Zyrtec and Allergra), strict allergen exposure controll...  Your insurance company will require "proof" that all these measures have been tried before aproving Xolair treatment.

If that doesn't improve your asthmna, it sounds like Xolair maybe a good option for you.  Your doctor will need to do blood work to confirm that you have allergic asthma.  They test will check your IgE level.  It needs to be at least 33.  While an IgE level of 33 will qualify you for Xolair treatment, levels that low may not be very effective as your allergies may not be the root cause.  I have been on Xolair almost a year.  My IgE level was 34 the first time and 50 something the second time (both before starting Xolair treatment).  Xolair did not seem to help me any, but Aspirin Exacerbate Respiratory Disease was  the major underliing cause of my asthma.  I have been on Xolair for almost two years.  I have discussed stopping the Xolair, but two doctors have told me that we really can't tell how effective it has or hasn't been because of the underliing diseasel.  Now that the underliing disease is controlled, Xolair may be effective.  

I have had no problems with Xolair.  Anaphlaxis is a rare possibility.  It is important that you stay in your doctor's office for 30 minutes after the shot is given.  Genetec, the manufacturer of Xolair, monitors patients closely in addition to your doctor's monitoring.

I hope that helps you some.

God bless.
Avatar universal
I think I developed asthma either from 2nd hand cigarette smoke OR too many antibiotics cipro, doxy, azithromycin.  Now I wheeze when I breathe out and exercise and my O2 falls to 75%.  paradoixcally amycin is now given as a cure for some asthma cases based on this bacterial infection theory given by Dr. Hahn of UWisconsin
it seems asthma is an autoimmune disease that is not really understood and I'm not sure if there are cases where xolair may worsen someone's asthma or immune system in unknown ways.  I've tried now courses of prednisone and long term sybmicort/albuterol, dulera, singulair without my FEV1 score improving and still having evening asthma and sleep apnea.
Avatar universal
there seems to be some connection between childhood antibiotics and asthma development in some studies
my IGE level is around 165 I think
Avatar universal
I keep worrying, and being upset, I never had asthma before- did I get it from doctors giving me too much doxy, cipro, fagyl, augmentin in a few months?  or the 2nd hand cigarette smoke at the cafe for months
Avatar universal
thanks very much for your post!

the cognitive memory loss and ADD from asthma/sleep apnea can be really severe for me

would anyone try a different combo of asthma/apnea drugs?  I take symbicort/dulera with singulair and albuterol inhaler which several pulmonologists told me is a good combo but my FEV1 is stuck at about 70
I still can't sleep for 2 years now and don't know what this is from
Avatar universal
Your case history sounds a lot like mine except the cigarette exposure.  

Antibiotics were frequently over prescribed for years, but I seriously doubt they are the cause of your asthma.  It sounds more like undiagnosed asthma made you more susceptible to infections.  The disease progressed to being a more consistent problem.  

Cigarette exposure will agravate and trigger asthma.  It is known to cause asthma in kids who are exposed to smoke.  

There is a form of asthma called Neutrophillic asthma that is casued primarily by one of two bacterial infections.    If you suspect this type of asthma, you should have a bronchoscopy or sputum sample cultured to identify what is growing in your lungs before starting treatment.  

If your IgE level is 165 like you thought, that would suggest a high allergy involvment in your asthma.  You should be seeing and allergist for immunotherapy.  You also should be taking antihistamine and possibly treating the nasal symptoms with nasal sprays.  

To control asthma, you must control ALL asthma triggers like allergies, reflux, chemical and particulate irritants...  

Stress is a known trigger of asthma as well.  You need to find a way not to dwell on your health so much and relax.  Work with good doctors and they will eventually get you back to good health.  It may take a long time (3+ years for me), but it is possible.  

Also, pulmonary function tests can be a little miss leading.  The numbers are based on 'norms'.  You may not be close to the norms even healthy.  I have the opposite problem.  My normal is far above the norm so doctors think I am ok when I am 30% below what is healthy for me.  Basically, an FEV  1 of 70 for you may be perfectly healthy.  If you are feeling good and not struggling in anyway to breathe, I wouldn't worry about not being "normal."

Hang in there.  Put together a top notch medical team.  Be sure to include your primary care provider in all decissions.  Your pharmacist is also a great resource for health information and help.  It is important that ALL your prescriptions be through the same pharmacy and that you develop a raport with them.  View your primary care provider as the coach and you are an active participant as well.  It sounds like you have that concept covered since you are doing quite a bit of quality research on your own.  It is vital that you research and educate yourself as much as you can.  So, keep up the good work.  Be patient.  

While a lot of asthma patients have sleep apnea, it is usually not a cause of asthma.  

God bless.
Avatar universal
thanks so much!  you may wish to consider that xolair may mess up your immune system and weigh the benefits and risks of taking it long term.  some drugs like symbicort have been tested long term so there is safety data but I'm not sure this is the case with xolair

"Antibiotics were frequently over prescribed for years, but I seriously doubt they are the cause of your asthma.  It sounds more like undiagnosed asthma made you more susceptible to infections.  The disease progressed to being a more consistent problem."
thanks so much for your replies!  I have heard that antibiotics are linked with development of asthma in children as they may change the balance of gut flora
I didn't have asthma and never needed medication or inhalers; 2 years before this I could run 60 minutes without wheezing.  I noticed a little shallow breathing/congestion rarely.  It is terrible to be crippled by this disease.  

Cigarette exposure will agravate and trigger asthma.  It is known to cause asthma in kids who are exposed to smoke.  

There is a form of asthma called Neutrophillic asthma that is casued primarily by one of two bacterial infections.    If you suspect this type of asthma, you should have a bronchoscopy or sputum sample cultured to identify what is growing in your lungs before starting treatment.  

-I've been going for years to this office and I don't trust their testing since their one doctor was yelling at me during the PFT so my results were artificially high and they never changed me off of Symbicort for over a year.
there seems to be some research evidence that azithromycin can cure asthma in some cases from doctors like Dr. Hahn of UW

If your IgE level is 165 like you thought, that would suggest a high allergy involvment in your asthma.  You should be seeing and allergist for immunotherapy.  You also should be taking antihistamine and possibly treating the nasal symptoms with nasal sprays.  
-I was again going for many visits to this allergist and all he prescribed me was nasonex.  it does have the ingredient in dulera so maybe it can help breathing/asthma.  I was also prescribed allegra-d but it is expensive and I take singulair

To control asthma, you must control ALL asthma triggers like allergies, reflux, chemical and particulate irritants...  
-GERD can exacerbate asthma and I take nexium/zantac

Stress is a known trigger of asthma as well.  You need to find a way not to dwell on your health so much and relax.  Work with good doctors and they will eventually get you back to good health.  It may take a long time (3+ years for me), but it is possible.  
-my problem is that I am suffocating in my sleep from apneas/asthma and have memory problems.  

Also, pulmonary function tests can be a little miss leading.  The numbers are based on 'norms'.  You may not be close to the norms even healthy.  I have the opposite problem.  My normal is far above the norm so doctors think I am ok when I am 30% below what is healthy for me.  Basically, an FEV  1 of 70 for you may be perfectly healthy.  If you are feeling good and not struggling in anyway to breathe, I wouldn't worry about not being "normal."
-it's not that; I am still wheezing on 30mg prednisone and FEV1 73 feels terrible for me, my flow peak meter reading is 450?

Hang in there.  Put together a top notch medical team.  Be sure to include your primary care provider in all decissions.  Your pharmacist is also a great resource for health information and help.  It is important that ALL your prescriptions be through the same pharmacy and that you develop a raport with them.  View your primary care provider as the coach and you are an active participant as well.  It sounds like you have that concept covered since you are doing quite a bit of quality research on your own.  It is vital that you research and educate yourself as much as you can.  So, keep up the good work.  Be patient.  
-I've gone to doctors from the best medical schools but even after years of visits they don't change my therapy and medications or try to improve my quantitative scores

While a lot of asthma patients have sleep apnea, it is usually not a cause of asthma.  
-I just feel burdened by this terrible combination of the two diseases which feed off of each other
Avatar universal
you should get a sleep test to see if you have sleep apnea which can be treated by cpap machine- my cognitive functioning really started to decline and I had memory problems after the sleep apnea
168348 tn?1379360675
Welcome to our Community!

C~
Avatar universal
has anyone been able to solve the headahces that come with asthma and infections?

http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=109394
Avatar universal
my allergist wants to put me on xolair and I am so hesitant for many reasons...1) my ige is 4490..even he is shocked..and thought xolairs limit was 700...2) I have sleep apnea, copd, and prediabetic and am taking Dilantin.  I am not sure if he is looking at doing a series of xolair or just continuous.  I am 62 and weighing 300 lbs, I have a controlled heart murmur.  I have been on proair, advair, zyflo cr, for some time.  I am just so hesitant...can you advice me?? and the copay is not an issue...my insurance will cover it all
Avatar universal
I'm not a doctor so I don't really know how safe xolair is.  you should be on cpap for sleep apnea which can cause diabetes, it's really a terrible disease.  symbicort and dulera have helped a lot and singulair.  if you have an attack then you should go to the ER

I tried allergy shots but you have to be on it for at least a year for it to work I think.  


Avatar universal
anyway I was trached, but 1 month on it didn't cure my sleep apnea
Avatar universal
My daughter is 17 and has been on Zolair since September 2011.
She was diagnosed with 3 food allergies at 9, 6 more at 11, and
36 at 15. She was diagnosed with asthma at 12 months of age . She has tried traditional allergy shots, and all asthma drugs. At 15 we had braces put on her teeth and did not realize the rubber bands were latex, she always had a mild reaction to latex, but this reaction was terrible. She started to get hives everywhere and no one could figure out why. After lots of tests we realized the latex had caused her to have more food allergies. She has had a c pap machine since the age of 12. She is slightly over weight from prolonged prednisone use. She also had her tonsiled removed during that time as her swelling would not go down. Going back to the braces, she developed chronic uticaria and no amount or brand of antihistamine would work. One of the side effects from these meds was gradual blindness, in 6 months time she had to get new eye glasses twice. The allergist than suggested zolair. We are so happy for it, she has been able to eat some of her foods without a reaction ( only class ones and some twos ). The hives have all but gone, some break through but lifeis livable. Her asthma is totally under control. The only downside is she does require 3 shots every 14 days. So vacationing is really hard. She has been decreasing some of her antihistamines ( she takes : singular, atarax,, xyzal, Zyrtec, Allegra, Zantac, nasonex , and a few others I can't spell ) many of which would put most people to sleep. The only downside of Zolair has been missing a dose by any amount over 14 days , the hives come back just as before. I hope her allergy history helps a little,as I know this decision is very hard. But has been well worth it for us.
Avatar universal
yes I can't exhale now for 2 years and I have an IGE of 165 and I didn't do enough allergy shots.  the levocetirizine didn't seem to help that much but maybe it would help your daughter- I just don't like nasal sprays since they may spray steroid into your brain so I got a nasal rinse but only started using it again recently (it's saline)



Avatar universal
I want to try the xolair injections and be able to sleep and exhale normally again, but I don't have a good pulmonologist
Avatar universal
Your life would be soooooo much better and you would be off most of those medications and not have to have so many doctor visit if you would lose half that weight.  It all comes down to choices in life there are no medications that are going to improve your health. Cut your calories to 1000 a day and start walking 10 minutes a day and build up to 30 minutes brisk walking. Your health is a gift from God.  In my view to continue to abuse your body like this is a catastrophe.  
Have an Answer?
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Find out what causes asthma, and how to take control of your symptoms.
Find out if your city is a top "allergy capital."
Find out which foods you should watch out for.
If you’re one of the 35 million Americans who suffer from hay fever, read on for what plants are to blame, where to find them and how to get relief.
Allergist Dr. Lily Pien answers Medhelp users' most pressing allergy-related questions
When you start sniffling and sneezing, you know spring has sprung. Check out these four natural remedies to nix spring allergies.