Navigation Links
Asthma Drug May Help Those With Chronic Hives
Date:7/22/2014

By
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, July 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A drug already used to treat moderate-to-severe allergic asthma appears to offer relief to people with chronic hives who haven't been helped by standard medications, new research suggests.

The prescription drug -- omalizumab (Xolair) -- is already available to treat hives, following U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval earlier this year for that use.

The current study confirms that when Xolair is taken at a high dose for a six-month period it seems to be both safe and effective at controlling the severe and often debilitating itching that characterizes long-term hives.

"So what we're talking about here are only chronic cases, in which patients have hives that last for more than six weeks," explained study senior author Dr. Karin Rosen, an associate group medical director with Genentech Inc., in San Francisco. "That's usually just .5 to 1 percent of hives patients."

"But for those patients, this is a really horrible disease," she noted. "And until now antihistamines have been the only approved drug for chronic hives. But to work, antihistamines often need to be used at up to four times approved levels, which has a sedating effect. And 50 percent of the time patients didn't respond anyway."

"So then," said Rosen, "they would try other types of medications, like systemic steroids. But over time steroids can have very severe side effects. So then we would turn to the heavy artillery, like [the immunosuppressant drug] cyclosporine, which also has very severe side effects, and can't be taken by people with high blood pressure or heart disease."

"All this means that many, many patients have simply been left without any treatment," she noted. "But with this drug we are seeing great improvement in patients who previously had no options. And that's very, very encouraging."

Rosen and her colleagues discuss their findings in the July 21 issue of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. The current study is the latest in a series of ongoing studies, which are being funded by drug manufacturer Genentech Inc. and Novartis Pharma AG in Basel Switzerland.

While not lethal, chronic hives can last for months, and tend to come and go without a clear idea of what brings it on. And, Rosen noted that almost half of chronic hive patients also have angioedema, a "scary and deforming" condition that involves deep tissue swelling, often affecting the eyes and the tongue.

To explore Xolair's potential, the team tested its effectiveness among more than 260 chronic hives patients for whom prior treatment had failed.

Patients were randomly divided into four groups, in which they were respectively treated with a once-a-month injection of Xolair at either a 75 milligram (mg) dose, a 150 mg dose, a 300 mg dose, or a dummy shot.

Tracking was conducted for both a three-month period and a six-month period.

The team found that by the 12th week, people given Xolair showed a marked reduction in their overall number of hives, hive intensity and itching severity, compared with patients who got the dummy treatment. And Rosen noted that roughly 40 percent saw a complete disappearance of all symptoms, while 80 percent experienced "what we call minimally important improvement."

Symptom relief was maintained through the six-month mark, and the authors determined that those treated with the highest (300 mg) dosage of Xolair saw the biggest improvement.

Side effects were described as being mild to moderate, and included headaches, joint pain, sinus infection and reactions at the point of injection.

The study authors acknowledged that more research will be needed to see how the drug performs over longer periods of time.

Dr. Robert Kirsner, chair of the department of dermatology and cutaneous surgery and chief of dermatology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, suggested that the new intervention could prove to be a boon for a condition that "can significantly affect patients' quality of life."

"Patients suffer from this severe, recurrent itching, and it is a challenge for clinicians to find treatments that can help," he noted. "The data related to omalizumab use, in a well-performed randomized clinical trial, is extremely promising and offers hope for patients who have chronic [hives], and for the physicians who care for them."

More information

Visit the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America for more on hives.

SOURCES: Karin Rosen, M.D., Ph.d., associate group medical director, Genentech, Inc., San Francisco; Robert Kirsner, M.D., Ph.D., professor, vice chairman and chair, department of dermatology and cutaneous surgery, and chief, dermatology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami; July 21, 2014, Journal of Investigative Dermatology


'/>"/>
Copyright©2014 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Rapid Asthma Treatment in ER May Prevent Admission
2. Some Schools Dont Let Kids Carry Asthma Inhalers
3. Secondhand smoke continues to vex children with asthma
4. Many Asthmatic Kids Harmed by Secondhand Smoke: Study
5. Seniors Undertreated for Asthma, and Many Skip Inhalers: Study
6. ICU stays for worst asthma drop 74 percent, review finds
7. Inhaled Steroids Lead to Big Drop in Asthma Deaths at Texas Hospital: Study
8. Asthma Cases Continue to Rise in U.S., Affecting Millions
9. Prenatal exposure to pollution especially dangerous for children with asthma
10. Breathing Smog While Pregnant May Worsen Asthma in Offspring
11. Identifying asthma patients who tolerate lower doses of steroids remains problematic
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Asthma Drug May Help Those With Chronic Hives
(Date:6/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... Quality metrics ... yet in many ways they remain in the eye of the beholder, according to ... a publication of The American Journal of Managed Care. For the full issue, ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... , ... June 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal ... personalized through a fitness app. The fitness app plans to fix the two major problems ... offer a one size fits all type program , They don’t eliminate all ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library ... City Observer , brings up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ... for fumigation is not a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Dr. Calvin Johnson has dedicated ... has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for treating his patients. The procedure ... doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances that orthopaedic surgeons use to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may ... to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To ... for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Astellas today announced the establishment of Astellas Farma Colombia (AFC), a new affiliate with operations headquartered in ... . ... ... ... Astellas is ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016  Guerbet announced today that it has been ... Award . One of 12 suppliers to ... its support of Premier members through exceptional local customer ... commitment to lower costs. ... our outstanding customer service from Premier," says Massimo ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... "Surgical Procedure Volumes: Global Analysis (United States, China, ... Canada)" report to their offering. ... essential tool for healthcare business planners, provides surgical procedure ... at surgery trends with an in-depth analysis of growth ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: