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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Xolair (again.....)

(Shutterstock image)

Sometimes, asthma can be hard to treat. We have had a difficult time with 2 of our 3 teenagers who have asthma. Sometimes, Xolair injections can be an option for those who have allergic asthma and who are taking multiple asthma and allergy medicines and STILL aren't getting better. (And ending up in the hospital 6 times like Son #2 did....)

Son #2 had Xolair injections for 6 years and it was the only thing that helped stabilize his asthma and keep him out of the hospital. To qualify for Xolair injections, Asthma Doc orders a blood test to check the immunoglobulin E (IgE) level.   

If your IgE level falls into a certain range, you qualify for the treatment, but must still get insurance to approve it.They don't like paying for it because the serum is about $1500 per month.

IgE are antibodies found in the skin, lungs and mucus membrane. They are what causes your body to have allergic reactions. Xolair is supposed to stop that allergic reaction from happening (that's the way it was explained to me). The problem with allergies and asthma is that our bodies over-react when exposed to something (perfume, pets, mold, dust, etc.) There are so MANY asthma triggers.

Now we are at the point that we can no longer control daughter Kitty's asthma and allergies. She has had a chronic cough and wheeze for almost 3 months. Asthma Doc has tried all sorts of medicine for her, but nothing is working.

Kitty had her IgE level tested, and she qualifies for Xolair. Now we have to try to convince the insurance company to pay for it. Even with insurance, our co-pay is usually $150 per month (that's in addition to paying for multiple allergy and asthma medications for all 5 family members.) So, it adds up fast.

We found a website that can help people find help paying for ANY medication. It's called Needymeds
When you pull up the web page, click on "patient savings" and it will have a link to "Brand Name Drugs" or "Generic Name Drugs". For Xolair, I would click on "Brand Name Drugs", then I would click on the "X" on their alphabet list. That would list all medications that start with X, I would scroll down until I found Xolair.

It will list companies or foundations that will help you pay for your medicine. You can call them to see what information you need to qualify. We are able to find a foundation that will cover the entire cost of the $150 copay. How nice!

You can use the website for any medication - antidepressants, thyroid medicine, cholesterol medicine, ADD, etc, etc. Try it out and see if they can help you.

For now, we will prepare to battle the insurance company to try to get them to approve Xolair. Then apply for help paying for the co-pay.

You know, some days I am really, really REALLY tired of dealing with allergies and asthma. Sigh. 


  1. Oh wow. I hate antibody therapies. Even though xolair is synthesized from mice. Hemophilia runs in my family (it's x linked so a lot of male relatives have it) and I've had relatives die in the 80's from aids because the drug companies didn't check their donors or be careful about the source. Plus they can be in discriminatory about what systems they affect, inhibiting apoptosis but hey you gotta do what you gotta do. I'm glad I have my social worker to help fight my insurance company. I probably wouldn't be able to do it Alone. Facing lots of discrimination for my autism. I ask people not to make retard jokes and they say "quit forcing political correctness on me, you're being over sensitive." There's a difference between being politically correct and wanting to be respected. And it does more damage than one would think. Bullying is very harmful and people refuse to admit that. People sometimes think I'm retarded because I have a deep voice for a girl, am quiet, and have tics. When in reality, I'm very much aware of the world around me and I am an actual scientist doing actual groundbreaking research. People look at me like I'm a crazy person when I say I'm a scientist and think I'm genuinely delusional. They're just jealous the person they thought was retarded is smarter than they are haha jk, or am it ;). Sorry for the irrelevant rant, I had a bad day today. It's frustrating when people don't take me seriously because of the way they perceive me.

    1. Yes, but you will have the last laugh when you are published for your discoveries!! Ha!!

      And I know you what you mean about the "R" word. My friend's son has down syndrome, and she gets VERY angry when people use the R word. My teenagers know better than to use it - EVER

  2. On a semi related note, if you see a special needs kid or adult around. In the grocery store, church, whatever. Treat them like you would any other person their age. It's so annoying when people talk to me like a little kid or assume I'm not interested in normal things like music. Quit the baby talk, I want to talk about jimi Hendrix playing the Star-Spangled Banner with his tongue just like y'all are. It annoys me when I see people doing that to other special needs people too. I'm done now, I promise. This isn't a neurotransmitter imbalance fueled meltdown, just a bad day.

    1. No worries, you need to vent and let people know how to treat you.

      Many people wouldn't know unless you said something. You could really surprise people and talk about something current in politics-"Hey, what do you think about the spread of the Ebola virus? Did you ever think we would have two patients hospitalized here in the US???

      Haha, that would stop them in their tracks!

  3. In Poland Xolair is partly paid by government, but I don't know how much.
    I didn't know, that You need make tests for IgE level before taking that. I don't have any experience with that medicine, so I can't talk a much.

    1. People in Poland are lucky if their government pays for it. It's very expensive and hard to qualify for.

      But our insurance companies knows it's cheaper to pay for Xolair than to pay for a hospitalization.

      Current stats who an asthma hospitalization here will cost $11,000.00 for 2 1/2 days. Yikes!

    2. So that's why I like live there, where I live, despite of poverty and some nonsenses of reality :)