post-title Cluster Immunotherapy, a type of Rush Immunotherapy http://midwestallergy.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/MA-allergy-shot.jpg 2017-06-28 13:54:44 yes no Posted by

Cluster Immunotherapy, a type of Rush Immunotherapy

Rush immunotherapy (rush allergy shots) is a term used to describe any one of a number of different allergy shot protocols that have an accelerated “build-up” phase, in comparison to conventional or “traditional” immunotherapy.  Rush allergy shot protocols have become more popular and their safety and efficacy has been well studied in the past several […]

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Rush immunotherapy (rush allergy shots) is a term used to describe any one of a number of different allergy shot protocols that have an accelerated “build-up” phase, in comparison to conventional or “traditional” immunotherapy.  Rush allergy shot protocols have become more popular and their safety and efficacy has been well studied in the past several years.  There are many different protocols of rush immunotherapy, but one that we at Midwest Allergy believe is relatively safe, effective, and economical is cluster immunotherapy.

What is immunotherapy?

Allergen immunotherapy, also known as “allergy shots,” is a therapy consisting of a series of small injections given to help make a patient’s immune system less sensitive to the allergens that cause allergy symptoms.  Allergy shots “immunize” a patient against the allergens so that, over time, the body learns to tolerate or ignore allergens, and symptoms improve and may resolve.   These injections are given with a thin short needle into the subcutaneous (fatty) tissue of the skin, and cause very minimal to no discomfort if given correctly.  Allergen immunotherapy is a therapy that actually treats the underlying cause of the allergic disorder, offering a chance for a remission or cure for allergies.

What are the build-up and maintenance phases of allergy shots?

All allergy shot regimens consist of a “build up” phase and a maintenance phase.  In the build-up phase, the strength of allergen is increased with every shot, so that the body can build up enough tolerance to be able to handle a therapeutic dose of allergen with minimal risk of an allergic reaction.  Once the build-up phase is complete, the patient reaches the “maintenance” phase, during which the body continues to learn to tolerate allergens, at a steady pace.  In the maintenance phase, a shot generally contains the same amount of allergen every time, and shots are often less frequent than once a week.  Patients usually start to notice improvement when they reach the maintenance phase dose.

What is conventional immunotherapy?

The conventional immunotherapy regimen consists of a build-up phase that lasts about 4-8 months, in which a patient receives a shot once or twice per week with a 30 minute observation period after the shot.  Then, the patient moves on to the maintenance phase, in which shots are usually less frequent.

What is cluster immunotherapy?

Cluster immunotherapy is an accelerated version of conventional immunotherapy.  Generally, people start to feel better when they receive higher doses of allergen in their shots, which happens toward the end of the build-up phase, and in the maintenance phase.  Cluster immunotherapy, a type of rush immunotherapy Columbus Ohio, is a way to move through the build-up phase of allergy shots faster, for faster relief.  In cluster immunotherapy, shots are “clustered”, so that multiple shots are given in one day.  During most sessions, patients will receive 3-4 shots separated by a 30-minute observation period after each shot.  A cluster session may last up to 2 hours.  However, the more rapid build-up allows patients to reach the maintenance dose in as little as 1 month.

Does cluster (rush) immunotherapy work better than traditional immunotherapy?

The only difference between cluster (rush) and conventional immunotherapy is that with cluster immunotherapy, a patient should start to feel better faster.  Ultimately, a patient should achieve maintenance doses and have relief no matter which shot protocol is selected.  Clustering or rushing the shots simply gets patients to the higher doses faster.  The cluster immunotherapy shaves off several months of the total length of immunotherapy by shortening the build-up phase.  Ultimately, the total length of immunotherapy treatment really depends on each individual person’s response to the allergy shots.

If I am already on allergy shots, would cluster immunotherapy help me?

If you are still in the early, build-up stages of allergy shots, then yes, it would help you get some relief faster.  If you have been on shots for a while and are already in the maintenance phase, the cluster immunotherapy would not be necessary.

Is cluster or rush immunotherapy right for me?

Some people might not be able to fit the longer cluster sessions into their schedule, as the sessions take longer than the conventional single allergy shot visit.  On the other hand, some people might prefer having several longer visits for cluster shots to achieve maintenance phase faster, because once maintenance phase is reached, shots are less frequent.  The cluster regimen requires fewer shot visits, but these shot visits are longer.  For some, fast relief is important – for example, cluster shots could be helpful if a pollen season is coming soon, and a patient wants to be in the maintenance phase by the time that season arrives.  Also, some people fall off of schedule with their allergy shots, or discontinue their shots and decide that they want to re-start them.  In this situation, the cluster regimen would help to bring patients back up to their maintenance dose very quickly.

Is cluster immunotherapy safe?

Because of the accelerated dose escalation, cluster immunotherapy can lead to more local reactions at the injection site. Some studies have shown an increased risk of mild systemic reactions with cluster immunotherapy.  The most common systemic symptoms to occur are itching and hives.  Patients with asthma or a high degree of allergic sensitivity are at higher risk for systemic reactions with cluster immunotherapy.  At Midwest Allergy, our patients taking cluster immunotherapy receive extra allergy medications before their cluster shot sessions, which may decrease the risk of a systemic reaction.  Our patients receiving cluster immunotherapy are monitored very closely by our skilled nurses and physicians.

Midwest Allergy

If you are interested in cluster rush immunotherapy, visit or call us at Midwest Allergy to discuss whether or not it is right for you.

 

 

 

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