Omalizumab

Pediatric Medication

This information from Lexicomp® explains what you need to know about this medication, including what it’s used for, how to take it, its side effects, and when to call your healthcare provider.

Brand Names: US

Xolair

Brand Names: Canada

Xolair

Warning

  • Allergic reactions have happened after this drug was given. Sometimes, this has been life-threatening. Allergic reactions have happened as early as after the first dose. They have also happened after a year of treatment. Treatment will be started in a health care setting where your child will be watched closely after getting it. Tell the doctor right away about any anxiety, chest or throat tightness, cough, dizziness, fast or weak heartbeat, feeling warm, flushing, hives, hoarse voice, itching, passing out, rash, shortness of breath, swelling of the throat or tongue, trouble breathing or swallowing, wheezing, or any other bad effects.

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to treat hives.
  • It is used to treat asthma.
  • If your child has been given this drug for some other reason, talk with the doctor about the benefits and risks. Talk with the doctor if you have questions or concerns about giving this drug to your child.

For asthma:

  • Do not give this drug to treat an asthma attack. Use a rescue inhaler. Talk with the doctor.

What do I need to tell the doctor BEFORE my child takes this drug?

  • If your child is allergic to this drug; any part of this drug; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell the doctor about the allergy and what signs your child had.

This drug may interact with other drugs or health problems.

Tell the doctor and pharmacist about all of your child’s drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe to give this drug with all of your child’s other drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug your child takes without checking with the doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while my child takes this drug?

  • Tell all of your child’s health care providers that your child is taking this drug. This includes your child’s doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • If your child has a latex allergy, talk with the doctor. Some products have latex.
  • Cases of cancer have happened in some people taking this drug. If you have questions, talk with the doctor.
  • Some people at high risk for parasite infections have gotten a parasite infection after taking this drug. The doctor may test your child’s stool to see if your child has a parasite infection. Talk with the doctor.
  • It may take a few months to see the full effect.
  • If your child is switching to this drug from a steroid, do not stop giving the steroid to your child all of a sudden. The dose of the steroid may need to be slowly lowered to avoid side effects. Talk with the doctor.
  • Some people using this drug get fever; joint pain, stiffness, or swelling; muscle pain; swollen glands; or rash. This has happened within 1 to 5 days after getting this drug. Call the doctor right away if your child has any of these signs.
  • Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
  • This drug may affect certain lab tests. Tell all of your child’s health care providers and lab workers that your child takes this drug.

If your child is pregnant or breast-feeding a baby:

  • Talk with the doctor if your child is pregnant, becomes pregnant, or is breast-feeding a baby. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks to your child and the baby.

What are some side effects that I need to call my child’s doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your child’s doctor or get medical help right away if your child has any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
  • Bone pain.
  • Trouble breathing that is new or worse.
  • Some people taking this drug have had chest pain, heart attacks, transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), or blood clots. It is not known if this drug caused these problems. Call the doctor if your child has chest, jaw, or arm pain or pressure; passing out; shortness of breath; swelling, warmth, numbness, change of color, or pain in a leg or arm; or coughing up blood. Call the doctor if your child has a change in strength on 1 side that is greater than the other, trouble speaking or thinking, change in balance, or blurred eyesight.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your child’s doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother your child or do not go away:

  • Headache.
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Irritation where the shot is given.
  • Feeling tired or weak.
  • Nose or throat irritation.
  • Signs of a common cold.
  • Pain in arms or legs.
  • Ear pain.
  • Stomach pain.
  • Nosebleed.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your child’s doctor. Call your child’s doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best given?

Give this drug as ordered by your child’s doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

Prefilled syringes:

  • It is given as a shot into the fatty part of the skin on the top of the thigh or the belly area.
  • This drug may be given into the outer area of the upper arm if given by someone else.
  • If you will be giving your child the shot, your child’s doctor or nurse will teach you how to give the shot.
  • Wash your hands before and after use.
  • Before using this drug, take it out of the refrigerator. Allow to reach room temperature (15 to 30 minutes). Do not heat this drug.
  • Do not use if the solution is cloudy, leaking, or has particles.
  • This drug is colorless to slightly yellow or slightly brown. Do not use if the solution changes color.
  • Do not give into a mole, scar, or skin that is irritated, tender, bruised, red, hard, or broken.
  • Do not inject through clothes.
  • Inject at least 1 inch away from where the last dose was given. If your child’s dose has more than 1 injection, give the injections into 2 different places at least 1 inch apart.
  • Do not give into skin within 2 inches of the belly button.
  • If using prefilled syringe, do not get rid of air bubble from syringe before giving.
  • Do not rub the site where you give the shot.
  • Each prefilled syringe is for one use only.
  • Throw away needles in a needle/sharp disposal box. Do not reuse needles or other items. When the box is full, follow all local rules for getting rid of it. Talk with a doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Vials:

  • It is given as a shot into the fatty part of the skin on the top of the thigh, belly area, or upper arm.

What do I do if my child misses a dose?

  • Call your child’s doctor to find out what to do.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

Prefilled syringes:

  • Store in a refrigerator. Do not freeze.
  • Do not use if it has been frozen.
  • Store in the original container to protect from light.
  • Use within 4 hours of taking out of the refrigerator. If not used within 4 hours, throw away.

Vials:

  • If you need to store this drug at home, talk with your child’s doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.

All products:

  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.

General drug facts

  • If your child’s symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your child’s doctor.
  • Do not share your child’s drug with others and do not give anyone else’s drug to your child.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine. The use of this information is governed by the Lexicomp End User License Agreement, available at https://www.wolterskluwer.com/en/solutions/lexicomp/about/eula.

Last Reviewed Date

2021-04-27

Copyright

© 2021 UpToDate, Inc. and its affiliates and/or licensors. All rights reserved.

Last Updated