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A Few Shots Away: Immunotherapy May Relieve Allergy Symptoms
Date:1/9/2008

." 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

immunotherapy.

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

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