Western Skin Institute remains open. 

If you have a fever, cough or feel unwell, please call to cancel your appointment and refer to the Australian Government Department of Health Website:

If you do attend, rest assure we adhere to the social distancing rules. We kindly ask that all patients attend their appointment on their own unless accompanying a minor or dependent. 

Waiting room chairs are reduced to very limited numbers to respect the space needed between each individual. 

These measures are designed to protect you and keep you safe.

    Skin Blog
    Western Skin Institute Skin Blog is a platform to keep you, the patient updated on latest news about the skin and useful information on looking after your skin. All information are written by dermatologists for the lay public. We hope you’ll find the information useful and that you will share it with all your friends and family.
    Skin Blog 8 – December 2017: Omalizumab: A new subsidised treatment for Urticaria

    Those who suffer from chronic urticaria know how itchy this condition is. Also known as hives, the most common cause of chronic urticaria in adults is unknown. This can be a frustrating condition for patients.


    What is Omalizumab?

    Omalizumab (Xolair®) is a monoclonal antibody directed against IgE. It was first TGA (Therapeutic Goods Australia) registered on 13 June 2002 for the management of adults and adolescent patients with moderate allergic asthma. Recently, it has become approved for treatment of chronic urticaria.

    This medication is only subsidised for severe urticaria and there are criteria which need to be fulfilled before this medication can be used.

    The PBS (Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme) criteria are:

    • Severe urticaria without any known cause after investigation
    • Severe urticaria that persists on a daily basis for at least 6 weeks in spite of H1 antihistamine treatment.
    • Failed treatment for at least 2 weeks of:
      • H1 antihistamine
      • H2 antihistamine
      • LTRA
      • Doxepin
    • High itch and urticaria score

    How is Omalizumab administered?

    Omalizumab is administered as a subcutaneous injection of 150 or 300mg every 4 weeks.

    What are the side effects?

    Omalizumab is generally well tolerated and side effects are rare. These include anaphylaxis and local injection site skin reactions.

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