DESCRIPTION: Omalizumab (Xolair) is subcutaenous injection that is administered once or twice a month to help treat moderate to severe persistent asthma and/or chronic urticaria (hives).
CONDITIONS: Xolair will aid in the management of: asthma and/or idiopathic chronic urticaria.
What are the risks associated with Xolair?
The most severe reaction that can occur when receiving Xolair is anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening condition which requires immediate medical attention. Xolair should only be administered in a healthcare provider’s office where you can be closely monitored for symptoms of wheezing, shortness of breath, low blood pressure, dizziness, fainting, itching or hives. The risk of anaphylaxis is extremely low ranging from 0.09% to 0.2%.
How do I know if I am qualified to receive Xolair? And what are the costs?
We can work with your insurance company to see if you qualify for assistance based on your income. If you qualify, you may be eligible to receive Xolair injections at a low cost.
What are the most common side effects of Xolair?
Asthma patients note having pain in arms and legs, dizziness, fatigue, and rash. Chronic idiopathic urticaria patients note having nausea, headaches, swelling in the sinuses and throat, cough and upper respiratory tract infections.
DESCRIPTION: Immunoglobulin (IgG) replacement therapy may be a suitable option for those with primary immunodeficiency. IgG, also known as antibodies, are molecules that play an important role in your immune system. They recognize and bind to foreign and harmful antigens in your body and aid in their destruction. However, those with immune deficiencies may have impaired or a lack of antibody function. IgG replacement therapy involves commercially preparing IgG for patients and injecting those antibodies either intravenously or subcutaneouslyl. Based on the physican’s evaluation, he can determine whether an intravenous or subcutaneous route of injection is best for you.
How is the IgG prepared? And is it safe?
The IgG is prepared from the plasma collected from normal individuals who are screened to make sure they are healthy. The IgG collected is very safe because the donors must meet the criteria and strict guidelines enforced by the American Association of Blood Banks and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The IgG is purified and and the plasma is carefully tested for any infectious diseases.
How often and for how long do I have to receive the IgG infusions?
Since the IgG administered may be metabolized by your own immune system, the source must be constantly replenished. Repeat doses are often required at regular intervals. Depending on how your body reacts to the IgG, you may need infusions weekly or as often as every 1 to 3 days. Each infusion session may last from 2 to 4 hours from start to finish. IgG therapy only replaces what is missing from the immune system and does not act to correct antibody production; therefore, patients may have to receive the infusions for a lifetime.
What are the routes for IgG injections?
There are 2 methods for IgG injections: subcutaneous or intravenous. Subcutaneous Immunoglobulin therapy (SCIG) involves giving injections directly under the skin. Intravenous Immunoglobulin therapy (IVIG) involves giving injections into the vein. Depending on how you may react to the different types of injections, medical history, or insurance coverage the physician can discuss with you the best method.
Where can I receive IgG infusions?
You may receive the infusions at an outpatient clinic or even at your own home. We work with a third party infusion company and take into account you insurance coverage to provide you the best treatment options.
What are the common side effects from IgG replacement therapy?
Many patients tolerate IgG infusions very well. Some common side effects include a low-grade fever, aching muscles, and headaches. Less often, patients may also experience local skin irritation and swelling that subside in 1-2 days.
DESCRIPTION: Allergen immunotherapy or allergy shots is injecting you with what you are allergic to so that your body becomes desensitized to it (slowly gets used to it and no longer thinks of it as a foreign body) so that through time your symptoms will decrease with the hope of using less medications.
SCHEDULE: There is no appointment necessary for scheduling your shots. You are free to walk-in during the following hours.
- Wednesdays: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
- Fridays: 1:30 PM – 5:00 PM
- Saturdays: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
How long do I have to be on allergy shots?
Patient’s are placed on allergy shots for 3-5 years. With our standard protocol patient’s may come in 1-2 times a week to get their shot until they build up to their therapeutic dose (the top dose). Once reaching top dose patients come less often. Eventually patients receive shots only once a month.
Is there a quicker way for me to get to my therapeutic dose?
Yes there is. We offer cluster immunotherapy (allergy shots). We have a protocol in place whereby you may go through a vial in one day. With this protocol people can reach their therapeutic dose in as soon as 3.5 weeks instead of several months.
Has the medical literature shown this to be effective?
Yes. Through evidence based medicine this has shown to be highly effective for hay fever and to help improve allergic asthma.
DESCRIPTION: Drug allergies can be life threatening but sometimes it may be necessary for you to take a certain medication (i.e. blood pressure or cholesterol lowering medication, antibiotics, or aspirin). Drug desensitization involves the gradual reintroduction of small doses of the drug antigen at fixed time intervals. The gradual reintroduction protects the patient from anaphylaxis and permits the delivery of essential medications at their therapeutic dose.
How long does drug desensitization take?
Drug desensitization usually takes place in a hospital setting, typically the intensive care unit, for safety purposes. The drug is administered in escalating doses over the course of a few hours to even a full day. The patient is usually required to stay at the hospital overnight to monitor their vital signs.
How long will I be “desensitized” to the drug?
The desensitization effect will only last as long as the patient is taking a daily dose of the medication.
Is drug desensitization safe?
Yes. A team, consisting of two consultant physicians—usually an allergist and pulmonologist—and an admitting physician, and specially trained nurses will monitor the patient closely during the drug desensitization process. The team is professionally trained to respond if the desensitization does trigger a life-threatening reaction.