CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - May 07, 2014) -
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now approves the use of Omalizumab, commercially known as "Xolair," for the treatment of chronic hives
(idiopathic urticaria). Used for years to treat allergic asthma
, the drug has been tested for the treatment of chronic hives
with overwhelmingly positive results. For those that suffer from chronic hives, this is a "game changer," according to Chicago allergist,
Brian Rotskoff, MD.
"Hives is a common condition that can be triggered by a variety of irritants," says Dr. Rotskoff. "For those that experience the occasional hives breakout, the rash is usually responsive and managed by a round of anti-histamines. Chronic hives, however, can last for months or even years with no determinant cause or relief, which can be extremely frustrating for the patient."
Clinical trials of the drug included patients over the age of 12. Of those tested, 65-70% responded positively to treatment and 40-45% saw their condition nearly disappear. "This is incredible news for patients with chronic hives who have suffered real discomfort over long periods of time, with little options for relief -- up until now," explains Dr. Rotskoff.
What are hives?
Typically, a hives outbreak occurs when a person encounters an irritant that causes their inflammatory cells of the skin (mast cells) to produce histamine, resulting in itchy red bumps. The rash can be of varying size and is raised off the skin. It is usually very itchy and will worsen with scratching. The major identifying characteristic of hives is that it is a migratory reaction that will appear on other parts of the body throughout the course of a breakout.
While it can be difficult to identify the cause of hives, acute hives are usually a response to an irritant that can be managed with antihistamines and lasts less than 6 weeks. Chronic hives can last much longer -- ranging from months to years.
Before this trial, only about half of patients that suffer with chronic hives responded to antihistamines, leaving the other half miserable. Now, through the use of injectable Omalizumab, treatment options and real results are in sight for chronic hives sufferers.
"I am very excited about this approval," says Dr. Rotskoff. "For so long now, I have not been able to offer relief to my chronic hives patients. Now, I can prescribe Xolair and know that this will really change their lives."
If you suffer from chronic hives, call Dr. Rotskoff at the Clarity Allergy Center for relief from your. persistent itching and discomfort.