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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2019 August;154(4):480-7

DOI: 10.23736/S0392-0488.19.06302-8

Copyright © 2019 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Omalizumab for atopic dermatitis: evidence for and against its use

Jesper G. HOLM 1 , Simon F. THOMSEN 1, 2

1 Department of Dermatology, Bispebjerg Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark; 2 Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark



INTRODUCTION: Omalizumab, has been used for almost two decades, mainly in allergic asthma and chronic spontaneous urticaria for which it is highly beneficial. Smaller studies have evaluated the effects of omalizumab in atopic dermatitis (AD). Current treatments options, such as cyclosporine and azathioprine have limited effect on AD and numerous side effects. The recently introduced biologic dupilumab (anti-IL4) shows promising results, however with conjunctivitis as a prevalent side effect. We evaluate the current evidence for the use of omalizumab in AD.
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: Systematic literature searches were performed in PubMed, Web of Science, Embase and Clinicaltrials.gov to identify any study (case reports, case series, and controlled trials) evaluating the effect of treatment with omalizumab in AD.
EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: Thirty-four studies (12 single case studies, 15 case series, 5 prospective studies and 2 small pilot randomized placebo-controlled trials [RCTs]), including a total of 214 patients with median of 3, ranging from 1-35 patients were identified. A total of 169 patients (79.0%) experienced a beneficial effect from treatment, ranging from little to complete response, whereas 45 patients (21.0%) reported no or negative effect from omalizumab treatment.
CONCLUSIONS: Omalizumab is a safe and well-tolerated treatment with some clinical benefit in AD patients. However, the lack of larger RCTs and possible publication bias limit the recommendation of omalizumab for use in clinical practice for AD. Newer and more effective treatments exist and should be prioritized.


KEY WORDS: Omalizumab; Anti-IgE antibodies; Dermatitis, atopic

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