Risks and Precautions
Serious side effects are uncommon. Anaphylaxis (a sudden and severe allergic reaction) is rare. Common side effects include swelling at the site of injection, headache, viral infection and sore throat. Less frequently, side effects may include joint ache, dizziness, itchiness and rash. Although malignancies were observed in a few individuals receiving Xolair®, they did not appear to be related to treatment with this medication.
Xolair® is classified in Pregnancy Category B by the FDA. Therefore it appears to be safe in pregnancy. Xolair® can be excreted in breast milk, but it is unlikely to have any negative effect on the newborn.
Xolair® is very expensive, costing between $6,000 - $36,000 a year for treatment depending on the total dose and frequency required.
Length of Treatment
Xolair® will remain effective only as long as treatment continues. Unlike immunotherapy, which can permanently decrease allergy symptoms, there appears to be no long lasting benefits to Xolair® therapy following discontinuation of treatment. Once Xolair® is discontinued, free circulating IgE levels appear to return to pretreatment levels within one year.