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Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2013 Feb;110(2):113-7. doi: 10.1016/j.anai.2012.11.022. Epub 2012 Dec 20.

Long-term efficacy of fixed-dose omalizumab for patients with severe chronic spontaneous urticaria.

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  • 1Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Treatment of chronic urticaria is challenging because many patients are refractory to or experience adverse effects with conventional therapy. Recently, short-term efficacy of omalizumab has been demonstrated.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine both the short- and long-term efficacy of omalizumab in the treatment of chronic urticaria.

METHODS:

Sixteen patients with severe chronic spontaneous urticaria at our center received omalizumab, 150 mg every 2 to 4 weeks, between 2010 and 2011. Disease severity was measured by urticaria activity scores before the first injection, during treatment, and at most recent follow-up, ranging from 9 to 24 months. Duration of therapy was determined individually for each patient. In this retrospective analysis, outcome measures include number of treatments required to induce remission and long-term remission sustainability.

RESULTS:

Ten patients had remission of urticaria after their first injection (62%). Four patients required 2 to 6 treatments to achieve remission. Two patients discontinued treatment after 2 injections. Of the 14 patients who initially benefited (88%), 4 remain in remission more than 9 months after their last treatments. Seven patients continue to achieve remission with maintenance omalizumab, dosed at intervals appropriate for individual remission duration. Three patients became refractory and discontinued treatment (19%).

CONCLUSION:

Omalizumab is an effective treatment for inducing and maintaining long-term remission for patients with severe chronic urticaria. Onset of remission is rapid, although duration is variable, with some patients requiring maintenance treatment. Large-scale randomized trials are necessary to confirm our findings that support the long-term efficacy of anti-IgE therapy for the treatment of this disease.

Copyright © 2013 American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID:
23352531
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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