(photo from www.xolair.com)
I'm surprised about how many people have never heard of Xolair . Of course, it's a small percentage of the people with asthma that actually need it. Since only 5-10% of people with asthma have severe asthma, many people are unaware of Xolair.
From what I have learned so far in lay-people terms, Xolair is an "IgE inhibitor". There are different immunoglobulins in the body, but "E" is associated with allergic responses. Apparently, there are little 'mast cell' (they look like little prickly balls) in the body that are filled with histamine granules. When an allergic reaction starts, those mast cells break open and the histamine is released, thus starting the allergic response. We all know what that looks like, swelling, sneezing, coughing, etc.
Rather than treating an allergic reaction (with anithistamines), Xolair is supposed to stop that allergic reaction from taking place at the cellular level.
With #2 Son's severe asthma, we were unable to keep him stable, even after Advair, Singulair, Zyrtec and 5 year's worth of allergy shots. Despite all that, he would still end up on Prednisone (oral steroids), followed by Decadron (injectible steroids), and then finally in the hospital. Then we started oxygen and IV steroids. It was getting a little old.
Our insurance company probably hates us already, and certainly doesn't want to pay $1000 a month for Xolair (our co-pay is $150). But I have this weird thing about wanting to keep my kids alive, call me crazy.
Now my heart doesn't skip as many beats when he gets sick and his peak flow drops 100 points, I know I can give him a breathing treatment and he'll respond like 'a normal kid'. Usually, he would be admitted to Pediatrics at the hospital within two days.
I hope none of you never need to use this, it's a last resort. But when all else fails, it does help keep your child alive. File it away for future reference, just in case.....