Frequently Asked Questions:
Allergy immunotherapy is the name assigned for reducing or, altogether, eliminating allergic reactions to specific allergens through medical treatment. It is also called desensitization or allergy shots. It involves administering gradually increasing doses of the allergen to the patient over a specific time period. What this does is that it allows their immune system to create tolerance and resilience as well as decrease sensitivity to the allergen to minimize its effects.
The two main types of allergy immunotherapy are SCIT (Subcutaneous Immunotherapy) and SLIT (Sublingual Immunotherapy). SCIT requires injecting the allergen extract under the skin. On the other hand, SLIT involves placing allergen extracts under the tongue in the form of drops or tablets.
Allergy immunotherapy is usually prescribed for people with moderate to severe allergic reactions. It is recommended particularly to those who have not responded well to medications or allergen avoidance measures. It can be effective for allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma, and insect sting allergies.
The duration of allergy immunotherapy treatment varies depending on the individual and their specific allergies. More often than not, the teatment lasts for three to five years. However, some patients may continue treatment for longer periods on the basis of their response and the recommendations of their allergist or immunologist.
Allergy immunotherapy offers several benefits, including long-term symptom relief, reduced reliance on medication, prevention of new allergies from developing, and potential improvement in asthma control. What it does is that it significantly enhances the quality of life for individuals suffering from allergies.
It is pretty safe to say that allergy immunotherapy is safe in most cases. But there have been cases and there is always a risk of side effects. Common side effects include local reactions at the injection site, like redness or swelling, and systemic reactions like sneezing, itching, or hives. Severe allergic reactions are rare but can occur. It is important to undergo immunotherapy under the supervision of a qualified healthcare professional.
Allergy immunotherapy has proved to be most effective for allergies caused by airborne allergens, like pollen, dust mites, and pet dander. It may also be beneficial for insect sting allergies.
The allergy immunotherapy market is expected to experience steady growth in the coming years. Factors like the rising prevalence of allergies, increasing awareness about immunotherapy as a treatment option, and advancements in allergen extract formulations are driving market growth.
Quite a number of pharmaceutical companies and research organizations are active in the allergy immunotherapy market. Some prominent players include ALK-Abelló A/S, Stallergenes Greer, Allergy Therapeutics, HAL Allergy Group, and Circassia Pharmaceuticals. These companies develop and manufacture allergen extracts, conduct clinical trials, and provide immunotherapy treatment options
The allergy immunotherapy market is witnessing various trends and innovations. One trend that is pretty noteable is the development of allergen immunotherapy tablets or drops for sublingual administration, providing a convenient and needle-free alternative to injections. What is more is that there is ongoing research in the field of molecular allergology, aiming to identify and target specific allergenic components for more personalized and effective immunotherapy.