Allergy Relief for Ragweed Season
Promising new treatment can alleviate allergy symptoms
Could you kiss your allergy symptoms good-bye for good? It's possible. A new treatment could potentially make you allergy-free.
The possibility of having absolute allergy relief would be astounding news for those with ragweed allergies. Ragweed is a very common allergen that leaves literally millions of North Americans struggling with a host of annoying symptoms, from red, irritated eyes to runny noses and non-stop sneezing. Want to be able to enjoy next year's allergy season? Start rush immunotherapy now.
What is rush immunotherapy? It's a new way of administering the standard immunotherapy that condenses the normally longer series of injections into a much shorter period of time. Standard immunotherapy helps you build up resistance to certain allergens by injecting a small amount of the allergen into your body. If done the traditional way, patients would need weekly injections over a period of six months or more. With the rush immunotherapy protocol, it's done much sooner.
Dr. Mark Moss, an allergist, says that rush immunotherapy could be done in about two or three weeks hypothetically.
The catch is that there are, of course, risks. Patients having immunotherapy can have severe allergic reactions to the shots - in fact, this happens as much as one-third of the time. However, the severity of the reactions can be reduced - patients who participated in the rush immunotherapy study were pre-medicated beforehand with Omalizumab, an anti-allergy drug.
When patients were treated with Omalizumab before the shot, they reduced their chances of an adverse allergy reaction by five times. This was a significant benefit over just receiving the rush immunotherapy alone. In fact, using the pre-treatment allergy drug also resulted in better allergy relief of symptoms overall.
The rush immunotherapy appears to have the same longevity of symptom relief as standard immunotherapy. One patient in the study has had three consecutive years without ragweed allergy symptoms. This is a significant quality of life improvement for those with severe allergy.
Sounds interesting? Rush immunotherapy itself is available, but the new pre-treatment drug is not FDA-approved. Studies are currently underway to test Omalizumab for the treatment of other allergies as well.
December 13, 2006