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Originally published by 2 Minute Medicine® (view original article). Reused on AccessMedicine with permission.

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1. In a case-report, 41-year-old patient requiring intubation for respiratory failure due to status asthmaticus clinically improved after administration of omalizumab (XOLAIR®).

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2. The findings of this study suggested that omalizumab, a medication used for IgE-mediated moderate to severe asthma, could be a new rescue treatment option for patients unresponsive to initial asthma treatment.

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Evidence Rating Level: 4 (Below Average)

Study Rundown:

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Status asthmaticus occurs when patients are unresponsive to initial asthma treatment, potentially leading to respiratory failure. The authors of this study wrote a case report that identifies omalizumab as a new potential rescue option for this condition. Generally, the case report discussed a 41-year-old man with a history of asthma who developed severe dyspnea, requiring tracheostomy. Administering omalizumab every 2 weeks resulted in clinical improvements for the patient, until the patient was eventually extubated and discharged to inpatient rehabilitation. Limitations of this study included the nature of the report being of a single patient, and further randomized controlled trials will be important to validate omalizumab for treatment of status asthmaticus.

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Relevant Reading: Omalizumab—A Review

In-Depth [case report]:

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The authors of this study wrote a case report detailing a patient’s response to omalizumab as a rescue treatment for status asthmaticus. Omalizumab is a drug indicated for IgE-mediated moderate to severe allergic asthma when it is caused by a perennial antigen. This drug is suggested in situations where patients have not adequately responded to typical asthma treatments, such as inhaled corticosteroid and long-acting beta-2-agonists. The authors found that after administering omalizumab, the patient responded rapidly over the next 2 weeks. He was weaned from mechanical ventilation during this period and had no further asthmatic attacks with treatment with omalizumab. Ultimately, the patient’s lung function testing returned to a normal range and he was able to return to work.

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