This longitudinal study in real-life settings included a cohort of 767 adults with uncontrolled severe asthma despite inhaled and oral corticosteroid and long-acting beta-agonist. From the initial group, 374 patients took omalizumab at least once (mean observation period, 20.4 months).
Omalizumab use was associated with a relative risk of 0.57 for hospitalization or ED visits for asthma. In users of omalizumab, the relative risk of hospitalization or ED visits for asthma during omalizumab treatment vs nontreatment periods was 0.40.
Add-on omalizumab was associated with a decreased risk of hospitalization or ED visits in patients with uncontrolled severe asthma in real-life practice.
There are limitations to the design of this study, specifically the inclusion criteria for taking omalizumab “at least once”. The cost of the medication is also a significant barrier in many countries.
Severe asthma - differential diagnosis and management (click to enlarge the image):
Does Omalizumab Make a Difference to the Real-life Treatment of Asthma Exacerbations?: Results From a Large Cohort of Patients With Severe Uncontrolled Asthma. Lamiae Grimaldi-Bensouda, PharmD, PhD; Mahmoud Zureik, MD, PhD; Michel Aubier, MD, PhD; Marc Humbert, MD, PhD; Jean Levy, MD; Jacques Benichou, MD, PhD; Mathieu Molimard, MD, PhD; Lucien Abenhaim, MD, PhD; for the Pharmacoepidemiology of Asthma and Xolair (PAX) Study Group. Chest. 2013; 143(2):398-405. doi:10.1378/chest.12-1372
Image source: Wikipedia, public domain.