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Changing the route of immunotherapy administration: An 18-year survey in pediatric patients with allergic rhinitis and asthma

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Immunotherapy can be administered either sublingually (sublingual immunotherapy [SLIT]) or subcutaneously (subcutaneous immunotherapy [SCIT]). The rate of route switching, required by patients, can provide an indirect evaluation of patients' preferences and adherence. The authors retrospectively reviewed patients' files over an 18-year period to quantify the changes in the route of administration. The clinical records of children referred for respiratory allergy between 1994 and 2011 and prescribed with SLIT or SCIT were reviewed. The specific causes of the shift from SLIT to SCIT and vice versa were always assessed, with a special attention to adverse events. The records of 4933 children (2289 male patients, aged 4‐18 years) were reviewed. Six hundred forty-eight patients received SCIT and 4285 patients received SLIT. Of the 4285 SLIT patients, 340 (7.9%) shifted to SCIT, mainly with Parietaria judaica and grasses. The 85.8% of the changes were caused by a perceived low efficacy. None of the parents required the route change for side effects. Of the 648 patients initially treated with SCIT, 54 (8.3%) shifted to SLIT, 85% of them for local or systemic side effects, but none for poor efficacy. The rate of SCIT/SLIT changes is, overall, low and because of poor efficacy for SLIT and side effects for SCIT.
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Keywords: Administration route; asthma; children; compliance; patient's preference; respiratory allergy; rhinitis; side effects; subcutaneous immunotherapy; sublingual immunotherapy; switching

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Pediatric Allergy Unit of the Department of Pediatrics, University of Messina, Messina, Italy

Publication date: 2013-11-01

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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