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Entries in Seasonal Asthma Attacks (1)

Wednesday
Mar162011

Study: Seasonal Asthma Flare-Ups Cut Dramatically by Xolair  

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(MADISON, Wisc.) -- The FDA-approved Xolair can improve asthma symptoms, alleviate seasonal flare-ups and allow for a dosage reduction for other asthma medications for children as young as six years of age, according to a recently released study.

Although the study tested Xolair in asthma patients aged 6-20, the FDA has only approved the medication for use in people 12 and older.

However, researcher William W. Busse, MD, from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health reported that the drug reduced symptom days by 25 percent in study participants.  He added that the number of asthma attacks were also reduced by about 30 percent.

More important, Busse says, is that his team of researchers saw a near elimination in the onset of attacks associated with seasonal allergies, colds and other airway infections when children took Xolair.

"It indicates in these kids that allergy seems to play an important role in their asthma," Busse told WebMD.

Critics of the study say the cost of the drug (typically $1,700 for the injected drug) is one drawback among many.  According to WebMD, excessive use of Xolair can actually trigger asthma symptoms and a condition called anaphylaxis, which affects breathing.

But Busse says that although the drug is costly, patients will visit the hospital less frequently, saving on hospitalization costs.

As for the drug's links to various negative side effects, the FDA required that Genentech, Xolair's manufacturer, add a warning label to boxes cautioning users of the potential risk of anaphylaxis.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 







ABC News Radio