Study Shows Asthma Drug, Xolair, May Increase Heart Failure Risk

July 23, 2009
By Gabriel Mejia, Esq. on July 23, 2009 2:42 PM | | Comments (0)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently released an "Early Communication" concerning the asthma drug, Xolair.  According to the report, patients taking Xolair have a disproportionate increase in heart failure, arrhythmias, enlarged hearts, stroke, and other vascular conditions compared to patients not taking the drug.  Xolair, also known as Omalizumab, is an injected medication used to treat moderate to severe asthma that cannot be controlled by inhaled corticosteroids.

Xolair was approved by the FDA in 2003 and now accounts for $517 million in revenues for its manufacturer, Genentech.  Genentech merged with the international pharmaceutical behemoth, Roche, in March.  Genentech and Roche have both had recent setbacks with drugs such as Xolair and Accutane.  Accutane was recently pulled from the market and Xolair received a black box warning in 2007 for the potential risk of anaphylaxis.

Although the FDA advises patients to continue to take Xolair as prescribed and refrained from issuing prescribing changes, it continues to investigate the potential causal connection between the drug and the reported adverse health risks.  The final results of the study are anticipated to be available to the FDA in 2012.


Gabriel Mejia, Esq. is a Coral Springs personal injury attorney handling accident and injury cases in Florida for Law Offices Cytryn and Velazquez, P.A.

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