Did you know Asthma drug can treat skin disorder?

| Updated: Apr 10, 2017 02:15 IST

Washington D.C. [U.S.A.], Apr. 9 (ANI): A study finds that patients, who develop itchy wheals on the skin caused by an allergic reaction in response to cold or friction, may benefit from treatment with a drug normally used to treat asthma. Cold urticaria and symptomatic dermographism are different forms of inducible urticaria, a skin disease characterised by itchy wheals, which develops in response to physical stimuli such as cold or friction. The results, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, showed that treatment with omalizumab led to significant improvements in symptoms in both groups of patients and prevented symptoms in nearly half of all the patients with cold urticaria and symptomatic dermographism. Two separate clinical studies, conducted by researchers from Charite - Universitatsmedizin Berlin in Germany, have shown the drug's active substance to be highly effective against different types of urticaria (hives). Patients with cold urticaria, for instance, cannot go swimming in the sea without risking an allergic reaction that may lead to shock; similarly, they cannot hold items colder than room temperature. The team used the monoclonal antibody omalizumab to treat two different patient groups - 61 patients with symptomatic dermographism and 31 patients with cold urticaria, for a period of three months. "Our results show that patients with severe forms of physical urticaria can benefit from treatment with omalizumab," said Dr. Martin Metz. The drug is currently only licensed for use in the patients with traditional hives, known as chronic spontaneous urticaria. "However, given our data on the drug's effectiveness in patients with cold urticaria and symptomatic dermographism, we are hopeful that the drug will be made available to both of these patient groups," he added. (ANI)