Omalizumab in the treatment of asthma

Expert Rev Respir Med. 2011 Dec;5(6):747-56. doi: 10.1586/ers.11.73.


Omalizumab was introduced in 2003 and is the first asthma drug to target IgE, the allergic antibody that initiates the allergic cascade. Well-controlled studies and post-marketing clinical experience have shown it to be an effective and safe medication. Treatment guidelines now recommend omalizumab as an add-on option for patients with moderate-to-severe allergic asthma uncontrolled on high-dose inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting β-agonists. Despite initial concerns, there is no evidence of any association with malignancy at this time. In our opinion, omalizumab is well-tolerated and significantly improves pulmonary function, decreases clinical symptoms and improves the quality of life in patients with uncontrolled allergic asthma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic / adverse effects
  • Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / adverse effects
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / therapeutic use*
  • Asthma / diagnosis
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Humans
  • Lung / drug effects*
  • Lung / physiopathology
  • Omalizumab
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents
  • Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Omalizumab