This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 18th, 2015 and is filed under Blog by AENT Associates
Immunotherapy, or more commonly referred to as allergy shots, is one of the few methods that allergists can use to actually change how an individual’s body will react to allergies. The process utilizes increasingly stronger doses of the antigen, injected several times a week, and ultimately desensitizing the body to the specific allergy trigger. Eventually, the body will no longer react to the offending allergen.
So, why doesn’t everyone with allergies try Immunotherapy? Traditional allergy shots require a lengthy commitment of time and effort. The build-up process can take a year or longer, requiring several trips into the doctor’s office every single week. Many patients are unable to commit to this schedule; or they will start, but never make it far enough to reap the benefits of the shots. Up until recently, patients only had one choice in the standard, lengthy build-up process. Today however, Rush Immunotherapy is providing some patients with a chance to condense the majority of the allergy shot process into just one afternoon!
Rush Immunotherapy works similarly to traditional allergy shots, building higher and higher amounts of the offending antigen, and forcing the body to desensitize. The biggest difference is that Rush Immunotherapy compiles most of the build-up into a six or eight hour day. Performed in an office treatment room, one nurse will be dedicated to provide a series of allergy shots every twenty minutes. Once the process is complete, the patient will be close to their maintenance (highest) dose of the allergen, and will only need to come into the office weekly for a few months. Very soon, only a routine shot every two to four weeks will be enough to keep the allergy at bay.
There are serious considerations to Rush Immunotherapy, however, and not everyone is a good candidate. The speed method makes a systemic allergic reaction more likely. Patients are continuously monitored in the office, vital signs are checked frequently, and an IV is started as a precaution. With the safety concerns, patients under eighteen, and those who have had a previous systemic reaction, are not recommended participants. Also, as a newer allergy treatment, Rush Immunotherapy is not covered by all insurance companies.
Pros of Rush Immunotherapy
- Months of build-up can be reached in one day.
- After the single session, fewer shot visits will be required.
- Patients may see faster relief from the allergy trigger.
Cons of Rush Immunotherapy
- The treatment is not covered by all insurers.
- Not recommended for all ages or physical conditions.
- Carries an increased risk for a systemic allergic reaction.
Rush Immunotherapy Services in the Greater Houston Area
With the spring allergy season fast approaching, now is a good time to talk to your physician about testing and allergy shots. Rush Immunotherapy might even be right for your situation. For more information, or to schedule a new patient appointment, contact Houston’s Allergy and Asthma at 281-453-4228, or click here to find the location nearest you.