Difficult to control asthma

4) Allergies and antibodies

Asthma is sometimes linked with allergies. If you have this type of asthma you will be looked after by an asthma specialist. Some people with asthma related allergies may be suitable for antibody treatment.

Antibody treatment is only effective for small number of people with allergic asthma, it doesn’t work for everyone. If the specialist thinks you may be suitable for this treatment they will:

  • Firstly take a blood test which will help to find out if you are likely to benefit from this treatment.
  • Give the treatment as an injection into the skin. It is given every two or four weeks depending on the dose you need.
  • Usually give as a trial for 12-16 weeks to see what benefits you experience after using it. It is a specialist medicine and therefore is given by a specialist in a hospital setting where they can monitor how you respond to the treatment.

The specialist will be concerned with various tests that measure:

  • How your body responds to these allergies by producing substances, one of which is called Immunoglobulin E.
  • Swelling in the airways. Some people with allergic asthma produce very high levels of Immunoglobulin E which can cause further swelling of your airways.
  • Monoclonal antibodies like (Omalizumab which is also known by the name Xolair®) can reduce the effects of Immunoglobulin E in this small group of people.

What do antibodies do?

  • Monoclonal antibodies stick to Immunoglobulin E.
  • This prevents the Immunoglobulin E from triggering specific parts of the immune system.
  • Antibodies can prevent or reduce further swelling or inflammation of your airways.


It is important you continue to take your other medication as well.