My son has hives on his skin and Dr suggests XOLAIR

Posted by rjtx @rjtx, Oct 11, 2020

Hi, I have a 15 year old son who is on high school swimming team. Last year he developed itchy skin and started to have hives on his skin. He went to doctor and tested that he is allergic to lots of things including Dust F Mite and a bunch of others. It's been a year and hasn't gone away. He has to take OTC Aller-Tec daily. Otherwise, the symptom will come back. We went to the doctor again and she suggested to start on XOLAIR injection regularly which can last for years. We are wondering if this has long term side effects. Is there better alternative? Thank you very much.

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@rjtx – Welcome to Connect! Do you think your son’s hives are related to him swimming?
Did he see an allergy specialist? Also- did he have skin tests or blood tests?
Allergy shots can be very helpful. I have had them as well as my daughter.
Xolair is a newer type of treatment. I don’t know that much about it except it is used for severe allergic asthma.
It appears that regular allergy medicine is not working – shots may be the next step. There are side effects to regular allergy shots and Xolair- the most important being anaphylaxis- very serious allergic reaction.
Maybe your doctor can spend more time explaining your options, pros and cons , safety etc. before you make this important decision.


Xolair is considered a "big gun" in allergy/allergic asthma treatment. I am surprised a doctor has suggested it without trying a lot of other things first. Like Ingegerd said, I would think further testing, and quite possibly allergy shots would be in order first. Also careful consideration of whether the pool chemicals are causing the itch – especially considering the number of hours swimmers spend exposed to them, both on their skin and in the air.

Also, please think about the implications for a 15 year old. My 60+ yo brother has these injections, and they are quite disruptive to his life as they must be done every 2 weeks in a physician's office, then he must wait an hour to confirm no reaction. He feels quite tired, sometimes even ill, the next day. As an active teen, how will your son tolerate this disruption to his life? Think – no long trips, standing appointments may interfere with school events, having this in his life makes him "different" than his friends… Also, think ahead 3 years to his early adulthood, as the injections may continue for years. Will he remain compliant?

I would consider consulting an allergist who works with teens before going ahead, as there may be something less drastic you can do.


@rjtx – my 3 children were competitive swimmers all through elementary school through high school.
The chlorine is very drying and at times there is not enough. My girls at least always showered afterwards. My son – I doubt it!
Let’s say your son could get allergy shots, they build it up in the beginning to a maintenance dose. The visits would be weekly. Further down the road you come less often. Where I used to live, Family Doctors would give allergy shots prescribed by rhe allergist- assuming the local doctor was trained to do it.
I agree with Sue that there has to be a strong indication to use Xolair.

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