Navigation Links
A Few Shots Away: Immunotherapy May Relieve Allergy Symptoms

MILWAUKEE, Jan. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Those who suffer from allergic asthma, rhinitis, conjunctivitis or stinging insect allergies may be good candidates to receive immunotherapy, also known as "allergy shots," according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI).

"Immunotherapy is a form of treatment that aims to decrease sensitivity to substances called allergens," said Linda Cox, MD, FAAAAI, Chair of the AAAAI's Immunotherapy and Allergy Diagnostics Committee. "Allergens, like pollen, mold or animal dander, are substances that trigger allergy symptoms when an allergic person is exposed to them. Patients who receive immunotherapy are injected with increasing amounts of an allergen until the target therapeutic dose is reached, in an effort to build resistance to specific allergens."

Immunotherapy has proven to prevent the development of new allergies, and it may prevent the progression of allergic disease from allergic rhinitis to asthma. Immunotherapy can also lead to long-lasting relief of allergy symptoms after treatment is stopped.

How does immunotherapy work?

Immunotherapy works like a vaccine. Your body responds to the injected amounts of a particular allergen, given in gradually increasing doses, by developing immunity or tolerance to the allergen(s). As a result, allergy symptoms decrease or minimize when you are exposed to that allergy in the future.

There are generally two phases to immunotherapy:

-- Build-up phase: This involves receiving injections with increasing

amounts of the allergens about one to two times per week. The length of

this phase depends upon how often the injections are received, but

generally ranges from three to six months on a conventional build-up

schedule. The target dose may be reached in a much shorter period of

time (one day to several weeks) with rapid build-up schedules, referred

to as "cluster and rush." These rapid schedules involve giving two or

more injections each visit, which will decrease the number of visits

during the build-up phase. However, these schedules may also carry a

greater risk of patients experiencing an adverse reaction to the


-- Maintenance phase: This begins once the effective therapeutic dose is

reached. The effective maintenance dose depends on the patient's level

of allergen sensitivity and his or her response to the immunotherapy

build-up phase. During the maintenance phase, there will be longer

periods of time between immunotherapy treatments, ranging from two to

four weeks. Your allergist/immunologist will determine what range is

best for you.

You may notice a decrease in symptoms during the build-up phase, but it could take as long as 12 months on the maintenance dose to notice an improvement. The effectiveness of immunotherapy treatments appears to be related to how long the treatment lasts, as well as the dose of the allergen. If you haven't seen recognizable improvement after a year of maintenance therapy, work with your allergist/immunologist to discuss other treatment options.

When is immunotherapy helpful?

Immunotherapy is recommended for those with allergic asthma, rhinitis, conjunctivitis and stinging insect allergies. Immunotherapy for food allergies is not recommended. The best option for people with food allergies is strictly to avoid that food.

Immunotherapy should only be prescribed by physicians with specialty training in allergy/immunology and should be administered in a facility equipped with proper staff and equipment to identify and treat adverse reactions to allergy injections. Ideally, immunotherapy should be given in the prescribing allergist/immunologist's office, but if this is not possible, your allergist/immunologist should provide the supervising physician with comprehensive instructions about your immunotherapy treatment.

When to see an allergist/immunologist

According to the AAAAI's referral guidelines, patients should see an allergist/immunologist if they:
-- Have a clear relationship between asthma, rhinitis, conjunctivitis and

exposure to an allergen

-- Have a poor response to medications or avoidance measures

-- Have a long duration of allergy symptoms (a majority of the year)

-- Are a child with rhinitis, because of the potential preventive role of

allergen immunotherapy in the progression of allergic disease

The AAAAI represents allergists, asthma specialists, clinical immunologists, allied health professionals and others with a special interest in the research and treatment of allergic disease. Allergy/immunology specialists are pediatric or internal medicine physicians who have elected an additional two years of training to become specialized in the treatment of asthma, allergy and immunologic disease. Established in 1943, the AAAAI has more than 6,500 members in the United States, Canada and 60 other countries. The AAAAI serves as an advocate to the public by providing educational information through its Web site at

SOURCE American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Attention Last-Minute Shoppers: Flu Shots Still Available
2. Many Vaccine Booster Shots Unnecessary: Study
3. More Americans Urged to Get Flu Shots
4. Strength training of neck muscles relieves chronic pain
5. The Ultimate Stress Reliever, SpaCapsule(R), the Capsule that Takes You on a Rejuvenating Journey to the Spa, Retains TransMedia Group for Soothing PR
6. New Non-Surgical Stem-Cell Procedure Relieves Degenerative Joint Disease
7. AUDIO from Medialink and Bayer: Is Your Pain Reliever Undermining Your Aspirin Therapy?
8. Flaxseed May Relieve Hot Flashes
9. Fish Oil Might Help Relieve MS
10. Protein a possible key to allergy and asthma control
11. Caraco Pharmaceutical Laboratories, Ltd. Announces FDA Approval to Market Generic OTC Versions of Zyrtec Allergy Tablets(R) and Zyrtec Hives Relief Tablets(R)
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Somu Sivaramakrishnan announced today ... owner, Somu now offers travelers, value and care based Travel Services, including exclusive ... as well as, cabin upgrades and special amenities such as, shore excursions, discounted ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... set of retro-fused, self-animating trailer titles with ProTrailer: Vintage. This newly styled ProTrailer ... classically-influenced trailer titles work with any font, giving users limitless opportunities to stylize ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 2015 , ... The holiday season is jam-packed with family ... of attendees is of the utmost importance. Whether you are cooking at home ... recipes a try this holiday season. , Turkey Croquettes ,     Ingredients: ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Ministers, senior ... (EU), ANDI Pan African Centres of Excellence, and public R&D institutions, civil societies ... the opening of the 5th African Network for Drugs and Diagnostics Innovation, ANDI, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Dental professionals who would like ... , are invited to attend Dr. Mark Iacobelli’s Advanced Implant Mentoring (AIM) CE course. ... OH. , As the co-founders of Advanced Implant Mentoring (AIM), Dr. Iacobelli and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... WILMINGTON, N.C. , Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... announces the planned investment of at least $15.8 ... in Wilmington, NC . The ... services capacity to meet the growing demands of ... Wilmington site expansion will provide up ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015 Allergan plc (NYSE: ... agreement with the New York State ... of the Sherman Act, and other statutes with the Attorney ... February 2014, to cease marketing and selling the now generic ... settlement, Allergan admits no liability, has released its counterclaims against ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... USP 800 applies to all healthcare ... pharmacy technicians, nurses, physicians, physician assistants, home healthcare ... covers all entities which store, prepare, transport, or ... institutions, patient treatment clinics, physicians, practice facilities, and ... --> What is the purpose of USP ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: