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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2013 Jul;132(1):101-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2013.05.013.

Omalizumab in patients with symptomatic chronic idiopathic/spontaneous urticaria despite standard combination therapy.

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Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA.



Patients with chronic idiopathic urticaria/chronic spontaneous urticaria (CIU/CSU) often continue to experience symptoms despite receiving standard-of-care therapy with H1-antihistamines along with 1 or more add-on therapies.


We sought to evaluate the safety and efficacy of 24 weeks of treatment with omalizumab in patients with persistent CIU/CSU despite treatment with H₁-antihistamines at up to 4 times the approved dose plus H₂-antihistamines, leukotriene receptor antagonists, or both.


In this phase III study patients were randomized to receive 6 subcutaneous injections at 4-week intervals of either 300 mg of omalizumab or placebo, followed by a 16-week observation period. The primary objective of the study was to evaluate the overall safety of omalizumab compared with placebo. Efficacy (itch severity, hive, and urticaria activity scores) was evaluated at weeks 12 and 24.


The overall incidence and severity of adverse events and serious adverse events were similar between omalizumab and placebo recipients; the safety profile was consistent with omalizumab in patients with allergic asthma. At week 12, the mean change from baseline in weekly itch severity score was -8.6 (95% CI, -9.3 to -7.8) in the omalizumab group compared with -4.0 (95% CI, -5.3 to -2.7) in the placebo group (P < .001). Significant improvements were seen for additional efficacy end points at week 12; these benefits were sustained to week 24.


Omalizumab was well tolerated and reduced the signs and symptoms of CIU/CSU in patients who remained symptomatic despite the use of H₁-antihistamines (up to 4 times the approved dose) plus H₂-antihistamines, leukotriene receptor antagonists, or both.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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