Immunotherapy (Allergy Shots or Tablets)

What is Immunotherapy?

 

Immunotherapy or Desensitization


Immunotherapy or desensitization is commonly known as allergy shots.  Recently the FDA approved sublingual tablets for those who can’t take allergy shots or have very specific allergies that there are tablets made for specifically grasses and ragweed pollens.
Immunotherapy plays an important role in the treatment of allergic patients. 

Allergy shots decrease hypersensitivity to allergens.  They are the only way to directly modify the diseases caused by allergens.

Overview

What are allergy shots?

Small amounts of allergen are injected in gradually increasing amounts so that the allergic individual is able to better tolerate the substances to which he or she is allergic.

What is Conventional Immunotherapy?

Conventional immunotherapy builds up to a maintenance dose over a period of months.

What is Rapid Desensitization or RUSH Therapy?

Rapid desensitization accomplishes the initial build up with premedication over a period of hours and the individual gets relief in a shorter period of time with conventional immunotherapy.  We have been doing this procedure since 1995 and have published articles regarding how to do this safely.

What does Hickory Allergy, Asthma & Sinus Clinic offer?

Both techniques help the patient better tolerate the substances to which he or she is allergic. Hickory Allergy, Asthma & Sinus Clinic offers conventional immunotherapy and rapid desensitization; the key to success of either method is selecting patients that have specific allergens contributing to symptoms as determined by history and skin testing. A survey by Hickory Allergy, Asthma & Sinus Clinic shows our patients on allergy shots average 85 percent less medication.  For most allergic patients who are allergic to multiple things SCIT(Subcutaneous Immunotherapy or shots) is the best way to treat their numerous allergens.

We also are now offering sublingual tablets recently approved by the FDA.  These are for persons allergic to grasses and ragweed.  First dosing is in the office for observation then daily tablets continue throughout the allergy season.  Patients must have adrenaline or epinephrine at home in case of reactions.

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Which allergens are typically given in shots or sublingual?

Allergy shots and sublingual tablets are given for inhalant allergens such as dust, mold, and pollen. One can also take injections for insect hypersensitivity. Allergy shots are not given for food or medication allergies.  There are only tablets for Ragweed and Grass allergic patients.