Xolair, food allergy medication just approved by FDA, provides relief and extra protection for sufferers often on high alert

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The FDA has approved a drug called Xolair, developed by Genentech and Novartis, to reduce severity in accidental allergic reactions for people with multiple food allergies. Originally introduced in 2003 for treatment of persistent allergic asthma, Xolair (generic name Omalizumab) is given via injection once every two or four weeks, with dosage determined by patient’s weight. The drug is hailed as a major breakthrough in food allergy treatment but costs about $5000 a month and may not be covered by insurance. Patients are still advised to avoid food that triggers allergies, but Xolair can help prevent severe reactions if accidental exposure occurs. It is available for patients from ages 1 to 55.

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