Omalizumab therapy in the management of severe allergic asthma
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Severe asthma is defined as a condition which can result in risk of frequent severe exacerbations (or death), adverse reactions to medication, and/or chronic morbidity, despite maximal therapy. Although patients with severe asthma represent only 5-10% of the asthmatic population, they represent the major burden of illness and impairment of Quality of Life (QoL), constituting a real clinical challenge for pulmonary physicians. Omalizumab, a humanised monoclonal antibody which binds free immunoglobulin E (IgE) in the serum, has demonstrated to be effective as add-on therapy to improve asthma control in adults and children with severe persistent allergic asthma that is uncontrolled by standard drug treatment. Our review discusses the efficacy and safety of omalizumab and offers practical recommendations for its use in patients with severe asthma.
KEY WORDS: severe asthma; Immunoglobulin E; omalizumab; lung function.