Although allergy drugs are frequently highly helpful, they do not cure allergies in everybody. The closest thing we have to a "cure" for allergies is allergen immunotherapy, which helps many allergy sufferers by lessening their symptoms and their dependence on medication. In allergy immunotherapy, allergen extracts are repeatedly administered in progressively higher dosages over the course of years. Patients can receive immunotherapy as an injection, tablet, spray, or under-the-tongue drop. By turning off allergy, allergen immunotherapy modifies how the immune system responds to allergens. In the end, you develop an immunity to the allergens, which enables you to tolerate them with fewer or no symptoms.
However, allergy immunotherapy is not a panacea for illness. For allergen immunotherapy to be effective, patients must commit to the course of medication for three to five years, and they must work with their doctor to reduce the likelihood of side effects. The treatment of potentially fatal allergic responses to stinging insects typically involves allergen immunotherapy. Venom immunotherapy can lower the chance of a severe reaction in adults from 60% to less than 10% per sting, according to published data on allergen immunotherapy injections. Venom immunotherapy for bee and wasp allergy is presently offered in Australia and New Zealand. In Tasmania and a few other places, Jack Jumper Ant immunotherapy is accessible.
Infrequently, allergen immunotherapy is advised for the treatment of atopic eczema due to the paucity of evidence supporting its efficacy, despite some patients' positive outcomes in newly published research. There is relatively little proof that food allergies can be managed in this way, but research is still being done. With allergy immunotherapy, improvement takes time to manifest. Usually, it takes at least 4-5 months, and occasionally more, for symptoms to get better. You will typically notice improvement pretty clearly in the first season if you are receiving therapy for spring/summer allergy rhinitis. To decrease the probability that your allergies may recur, allergy immunotherapy should be continued for roughly 3–5 years. You should continue taking your asthma medicine as usual while undergoing allergen immunotherapy, along with your allergy treatments. It is significant to remember that an allergist with complete training should be the only person to begin allergen immunotherapy.
Since more than a century ago, immunotherapy has been administered intravenously, and numerous trials have demonstrated its efficacy. Very high dosage sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT), in which allergen extracts (tablets, sprays, or drops) are kept under the tongue for a few minutes before being eaten, has also been demonstrated in a number of studies to be successful. While injectable immunotherapy is more frequently utilized in Australia and New Zealand than in Europe, where SLIT has a longer history of usage. The allergen extracts that are currently prescribed for oral and injectable therapy in Australia and New Zealand are very potent; they are NOT the severely insufficient and ineffectual extracts that some doctors utilized ten or more years ago.
Immunotherapy injection side effects
Some people experience a localized swelling where the injection was made. Ice packs, non-sedating oral antihistamines, and, if the condition is unpleasant, Paracetamol, can all be used to treat it. If the edema is severe, your doctor might need to lower the subsequent dose. Patients who are pregnant or who want to become pregnant soon typically wait until after giving birth before beginning allergy immunotherapy. The injections can be continued if the patient is receiving allergy immunotherapy maintenance doses and becomes pregnant (unless the patient requests a stop), but the supervising specialist should be called to discuss any pertinent safety concerns.
Sublingual immunotherapy side effects
Common adverse effects include irritability, little mouth swelling or itching, and nausea or upset stomach. Temporarily lowering the dose or taking an oral non-sedating antihistamine beforehand can help control this. Once the initial several weeks have passed, these side effects usually go away. This type of therapy carries a very low chance of potentially harmful side effects, like breathing problems.
Unusual application of immunotherapy
In order to lessen the severity of symptoms associated with food intolerance or any other perceived unpleasant reactions to food ingredients, additives, preservatives, artificial colors, or smoke, allergy immunotherapy has not been demonstrated to be effective. At this time, there is no evidence to support the use of bacterial extracts to treat any allergic condition or the inclusion of bacterial extracts to allergen extracts for immunotherapy. Food allergy immunotherapy is currently being studied, but it has not yet become a common clinical practice. If a food allergy has been identified, the person with the allergy must avoid the food, unless they are taking part in a research project that is being directed by a clinical immunology/allergy specialist.