HealthDay News — Omalizumab, alone or in combination with a short-term course of corticosteroids, is highly effective for the treatment of refractory chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU), according to a study published online in the International Journal of Dermatology.

Nikolaos Syrigos, MD, from Sotiria General Hospital in Athens, Greece, and colleagues retrospectively evaluated medical records from 20 patients (mean age 54.5 years; 75% women) with refractory CSU in order to assess correlations between demographic, clinical, and laboratory characteristics and omalizumab treatment outcomes.

The researchers found that mean disease duration before omalizumab administration was 21.8 months. All patients responded favorably to omalizumab after 1 to 5 doses, with 85% of patients having a complete response.

The remaining 3 patients had well-controlled disease after omalizumab treatment. In 30% of patients, the best response to omalizumab was achieved after interval administration of a 9-day course of methylprednisolone (total dose of 188 mg). A shorter disease duration before initiation of omalizumab was significantly correlated with late response to omalizumab (after 3-month treatment).

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“In the present series, omalizumab, either alone or in combination with a short-term course of corticosteroids, was highly effective in resolution of refractory CSU,” the authors write.

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Syrigos N, Grapsa D, Zande M, Tziotou M, Syrigou E. Treatment response to omalizumab in patients with refractory chronic spontaneous urticaria [published online February 5, 2018]. Int J Dermatol. doi: 10.1111/ijd.13935