I got a new drug

Today, in the epic battle to bring my asthma under control, I started treatment with Xolair, which I mentioned in my last blog entry.  I had originally thought that the Xolair would kick in immediately and I’d be able to go jogging through a pollen-rich cornfield shouting out, “Come and get me, allergens!” this afternoon, but alas, that is not to be.  Instead, it takes about a month, according to my immunologist, to reduce the bloodstream levels of IgE measurably, and another month or so after that before the asthmatic symptoms noticeably reduce.

Something else I was confused about: apparently there is an increased risk of malignant cancers in people taking Xolair — 0.5% incidence in people taking the treatment, vs. 0.2% in the placebo group.  There’s a part of me which can’t help but worry over the increased odds (because that’s how I am), but intellectually I know that 0.5% chance of getting malignant cancer is still 99.5% chance of not (and anyone who knows more about statistics than I do who knows otherwise, please let me live in my delusion).  And, of course, Xolair is just a couple of shots; nothing at all exciting about it.

So, I guess we’ll find out in a few months whether this is going to work out or not.

Stay tuned.

3 thoughts on “I got a new drug”

  1. I was wondering how the xolair treatments are going? I might be starting in Jan on xolair and have similar concerns. How long did you have to wait in the clinic after the injection? What did you do while you were waiting? (i.e., were you well enough to work on a laptop computer or do anything physical while waiting?) Have they given you the med and syringes so you can inject at home? Any localized swelling or pain? Has it helped?

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. The Xolair does seem to have helped a bit. For the first couple of times, they made me stay in the office for a half hour or so just to monitor any possible reaction; after that, it’s just in and out. I’ve had no adverse side effects at all. And while I was waiting those first couple of times, I was well enough to do anything I wanted.

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