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:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Planet Fitness, one of the largest and fastest growing franchisors ... a flagship location in Covington, LA at 401 N. U.S. Highway 190, in January ... Office Depot in the Holiday Square shopping center. Its location allows it to serve ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... PALM CITY, Fla. (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... of cold therapy products, announced today the introduction of an innovative new design of ... the multipurpose pad so you get maximum comfort while controlling your pain while using ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Asante, ... post-acute health care, have expanded their existing home health joint venture through an ... has been operating a joint venture home health company with Asante, delivering clinically ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Dr. Parsa Mohebi, ... a medical article to the newly revamped Cosmetic Town journal section, ... hair transplant procedure known as Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). , Dr. ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Leading pediatric oncology experts ... Washington, D.C., for the 49th Congress of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology ... of the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s National, and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/4/2017)... , Oct. 4, 2017 OBP ... self-contained, illuminating medical devices, today announced regulatory approval ... Surveillance Agency (or Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária ... single-use, cordless surgical retractor with integrated LED light ... access, illumination and exposure of a tissue pocket ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... 2, 2017 The Rebound mobile app is poised ... reverse the tide of prescription drug addiction. The app empowers ... intake and stepping down their dosage in a safe, controlled ... December 2017; the first 100,000 people to sign up will ... ...
(Date:9/25/2017)... , Sept. 25, 2017   Montrium , ... File solutions, today—from the IQPC Trial Master Files ... , NL)—announced that EastHORN Clinical Services has selected ... programs and TMF management. EastHORN, a leading European ... platform to increase transparency to enable greater collaboration ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: