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Allergen Immunotherapy: Guidelines, Update, and Recommendations of the World Health Organization

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Allergen immunotherapy (AIT) is the administration of increasing doses of an allergen vaccine to an allergic subject in order to reach a dose effective to improve symptoms associated with subsequent exposure to the causative allergen. This form of therapy is effective in the treatment of allergic rhinitis/conjunctivitis, allergic reactions to stinging insects, and allergic asthma. It is the only therapeutic modality that can affect the natural course of allergic diseases, and may prevent the development of asthma in patients with allergic rhinitis. AIT is indicated for patients with demonstrated specific IgE antibodies against clinically relevant allergens. The mixture of allergens to be utilized is based on the patient's history and skin and laboratory tests. The major risk of AIT is anaphylaxis. Such therapy is continued for three to five years, but the decision to discontinue it should be individualized. Interpretation of the history, physical findings, and skin and laboratory tests, the prescription and administration of allergen immunotherapy, its integration into the patient's treatment plan, and the decision to discontinue it require qualifying experience provided by specialist training in allergy and immunology.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-05-01

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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