Chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU) is the most common phenotype of chronic urticaria. We compared treatment effects and safety profiles of the medications in patients with CSU. We searched PubMed, MEDLINE, and Web of Science for randomized control trials (RCTs), from 1 January 2000 to 31 July 2021, which evaluated omalizumab and immunosuppressants. Network meta-analyses (NMAs) were performed with a frequentist approach. Outcome assessments considered the efficacy (Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) and weekly urticaria activity score (UAS7)) and tolerability profiles with evaluations of study quality, inconsistencies, and heterogeneity. We identified 14 studies which we included in our direct and indirect quantitative analyses. Omalizumab demonstrated better efficacy in DLQI and UAS7 outcomes compared to a placebo, and UAS7 assessments also demonstrated better outcomes compared to cyclosporine. Alongside this, omalizumab demonstrated relatively lower incidences of safety concerns compared to the other immunosuppressants. Cyclosporin was also associated with higher odds of adverse events than other treatment options. Our findings indicate that omalizumab resulted in greater improvements in terms of the DLQI and UAS7 with good tolerability in CSU patients compared to the other immunosuppressants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2152
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


  • biological therapy
  • chronic spontaneous urticaria
  • immunosuppressant
  • network meta-analysis
  • systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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