Omalizumab-associated anaphylaxis: Joint task force recommendations still good to go

Published Online: May 20, 2011

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) and the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology's (ACAAI) omalizumab joint task force (OJTF) has been monitoring omalizumab-associated anaphylaxis for the past 4 years. In the original report published in a recent issue of The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI), the OJTF found that anaphylaxis occurred in approximately 0.09% of patients receiving omalizumab (an anti-asthma medication), with the majority of the reactions occurring within the first 2 hours after the first 3 injections.

The OJTF's ongoing post-marketing safety surveillance did not reveal any significant change in the pattern of omalizumab-associated anaphylaxis, which continued to be reported infrequently. The task force noted that if their previous report’s recommendations for observation times were followed, approximately76% of the reactions would have occurred in a supervised medical facility. Therefore, the OJTF did not recommend any change from their initial report’s observation period recommendations. In addition to the suggested wait period recommendation, a 2-hour observation period after the first 3 injections, and a 30-minute observation period after subsequent injections, the OJTF stressed the importance of several safety-related interventions. These include an informed consent discussion between the physician and patient prior to beginning omalizumab treatment; an assessment of the patient’s health prior to the omalizumab injection, which may include some assessment of pulmonary function; regular patient education about recognition of anaphylaxis symptoms and signs; and prescribing one or more epinephrine autoinjectors with training in proper use.


The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI) is the official scientific journal of the AAAAI, and is the most-cited journal in the field of allergy and clinical immunology.

AAAAI - American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology