Atlanta Allergy & Asthma News

FDA Approves First Medicine to Reduce Allergic Reactions in People with One or More Food Allergies

Updated on Tuesday, March 5, 2024

On Friday, February 16, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Xolair (omalizumab) injection for IgE mediated food allergy in certain adults and children ages 1 or older for the reduction of allergic reactions, including reducing the risk of anaphylaxis which may occur with an accidental exposure to one or more foods.

Xolair is not approved for the immediate emergency treatment of allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction. There is currently no cure for food allergy and patients must continue to avoid the food(s) to which they are allergic. Current treatment requires prompt administration of epinephrine to treat anaphylaxis should accidental exposure occur.

Xolair is the first FDA-approved medicine to reduce allergic reactions to more than one type of food following an accidental exposure. Board-certified allergist, Lily Hwang, M.D, with Atlanta Allergy & Asthma says, “This approval is especially important for toddlers and school-age children with multiple food allergens who are at high risk for accidental exposure.”

Xolair (an injectable biologic that decreases IgE activity), is given at bi-weekly or monthly intervals. Although it will not allow patients to consume food allergens freely, its repeated use will help reduce the impact should an accidental exposure occur.

Dr. Hwang went on to say that the FDA approval will allow for better insurance coverage to make it more widely available to patients in need of Xolair for multiple food allergies.

Xolair was first approved in 2003 for the treatment of moderate to severe persistent asthma in certain patients. It is also approved for the treatment of chronic spontaneous urticaria and chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps in certain patients.

Dr. Hwang and her partners at Atlanta Allergy & Asthma have used Xolair for asthma and other allergic conditions for more than two decades and are pleased to have an additional option for treating those diagnosed with multiple food allergies.

Patients or families impacted by this often-life-threatening condition should consult with their food allergy expert as they may benefit from this added protection. Please contact your AA&A office for further assistance.