New Trends In Asthma Treatment

Asthma is the chronic lung condition in which the immune system becomes hypersensitive when exposed to some substances called triggers or allergens. Immunoglobulin E (IgE) is an antibody that is elevated in many patients with asthma. This is partly responsible for the initial phase of the allergic response leading to swelling of the airways and wheeze.

Since asthma symptoms are caused by different factors that contribute to inflammation in the airways, medications must be administered to treat the inflammation.

The antibody treatment: where an antibody based drug is administered into the patient is a novel approach to treating asthma. It works like this- the antibody that is administered into the patient’s body as a medication, attacks the patient’s circulating Immunoglobulin E antibody. By binding Immunoglobulin E, it prevents the IgE from attaching to cells that release substances (including histamine) when they encounter allergens, as they recruit other cells causing more inflammation in the airways.

The antibody based drug treats the underlying cause of asthma triggered by allergies rather than the symptoms that inhaled corticosteroids address. Since no other medication attacks this mechanism in asthma, this is a new approach as well as an effective one. This antibody drug is available in the market in the names of Omalizumab, Xolair etc.

This treatment may be considered in patients who do not respond to the conventional therapy and also in patients with moderate to severe asthma with persistent symptoms despite aggressive treatment. Patients who have documented allergies to specific allergens in the environment such as pollens, dust mites can typically consider this medication as it works by minimizing the allergic response in the airways. The drug is administered by subcutaneous injection, much like allergy shots. Although it not meant to replace the existing therapies, this drug reduced the number of asthma exacerbations and emergency room visits, according to the studies. Thus this therapy can be used where the conventional asthma therapies are not working.



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