Xolair Side Effects
The medication Xolair (generic name omalizumab) was introduced by Genentech in 2003 as a drug for patients with persistent chronic asthma who respond poorly to traditional treatments. Xolair is meant for asthma sufferer who test positive for allergic reaction to perennial airborne triggers such as pollen, grass or dust. Patients that are likely Xolair users also do not respond well to the traditional treatment of asthma with inhaled corticosteroids, the medication typically found in prescription inhalers.
In February of 2007 the FDA issued a “black box” warning on Xolair because of the number of severe allergic reactions to the drug that brought on anaphylaxis – a potentially life-threatening condition. Anaphylactic shock can cause difficulty breathing, a drop in blood pressure, fainting, hives, and swelling of the throat or tongue leading to narrowing of the airways.
The FDA requested that the new warning information for Xolair address the possibility of anaphylaxis, that physicians prescribing it prepare their patients for dealing with anaphylaxis prior to getting to medical help, and that patients who are injected with the medication be held in the office for two hours, because the anaphylactic reaction to Xolair can be delayed.
Heart and Lung Incidents
In July of 2009 the FDA issued an advisory about Xolair, passing along to health professionals the fact that some Xolair users were showing severe reactions to the medication in the cardiovascular area. The communiqué was based on interim findings from an ongoing study of Xolair; what the findings showed, according to the FDA, is that Xolair users showed a disproportionate risk of “ischemic heart disease, arrhythmias, cardiomyopathy and cardiac failure, pulmonary hypertension, cerebrovascular disorders, and embolic, thrombotic and thrombophlebitic events.”
It is unusual for the FDA to release interim findings of a study that cite the potential for such a wide range of potential lethal side effects. While the study is still underway, a warning of this severity suggests that there could be substantial evidence of a link between Xolair and any number of cardiovascular conditions.
If you or a family member has been using Xolair and has experienced any of the difficulties delineated in the quote above, contact our offices and we will review your case as well as the status of possible claims against Genentech for physical harm caused to patients who have used their drug.