Is rush immunotherapy right for you?

Immunotherapy is a medical term for the treatment of disease by inducing, enhancing, or suppressing an immune response. Not surprisingly, this type of therapy is often used for treating allergies. While other allergy treatments only target the symptoms of allergic reactions, immunotherapy is the only treatment available that actually reduces the body’s sensitivity to all allergens. Typically, a patient receives shots over the course of six months to a year, helping to suppress the unwanted effects of pollen and other allergy triggers. However, immunotherapy offers a chance to completely change the way your body responds to these triggers.

With rush immunotherapy, a patient will receive multiple shots throughout several hours to several days, achieving a maintenance dose in a very short period of time. After the initial period of treatment, a person is able to come into the allergist’s office typically only once a week for the next few weeks, and then even less often after that. People undergoing rush immunotherapy also achieve benefits from allergy shots rapidly, typically within a few weeks.

Some reasons to undergo this treatment include:

1. If you have a life-threatening allergy to a particular insect venom, and that insect season is about to start.

2. Shots are only available from an office that is far from your home, and you cannot make the needed number of visits.

3. You are about to travel.

Unfortunately, rush immunization is not effective for all patients, but has been proven to work in most. Those worried about adverse effects of this fast-paced immunization schedule should know the treatment is proven safe by the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. In 2006, the college reported that the protocol for administering this type of treatment to patients with multiple allergies is highly safe and effective. If you are considering rush immunotherapy, speak to your allergist today to find out if it’s right for you.

Author
Dr. Summit Shah

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