Immunization is an alternative form of treatment for long-and acute allergies. It is conducted when the use of conventional medications does not give a satisfactory effect. The principle of treatment is to reduce the symptoms of allergies by injecting an allergy-causing substance.
This type of therapy should not be confused with cortisone injections to fight allergies. Cortisone injections should be used only in cases when it is necessary to quickly arrest severe symptoms or in cases when other types of treatment do not bring the proper outcome.
Anti-allergic immunization is carried out by injecting allergen in small doses under the skin. Initial doses should be small enough not to cause an allergic reaction. Gradually, doses increase until a tolerance rate is reached. This optimal dose is usually administered at intervals of 6-8 weeks for 3-5 years. Thus, it is possible to achieve the development of allergen tolerance used in the course of treatment.
In what cases is this treatment used?
Immunization can be used for most types of pollen allergies (birch, hazel, grass). Antiallergic immunization is also used to reduce the risk of life-threatening reactions in people with an acute allergy to bee and wasp stings. In some cases, immunization is used for allergies to animals and house mites.
Studies have shown that these injections can later prevent asthma or provide more control over asthma triggered by allergies. However, people with acute asthma should not be given allergy immunization.
Grazax-based pollen allergy immunization is the approved treatment for adults and children over 5 years old who suffer from pollen allergies. The medicine is orodispersible tablets containing allergenic extracts of timothy grass pollen.
Who is immunization for?
Before conducting immunization, it is necessary to conduct a course of treatment using conventional anti-allergic medications, antihistamines, and topical drugs for arresting symptoms. If symptoms persist after such treatment, vaccination may be a good alternative.
Immunization against allergies is not recommended for children under 5 years old, as well as for people with an uncontrolled form of asthma, severe cardiovascular or oncological diseases. Immunization should not be done during pregnancy.
Allergy immunization should not be conducted during the pollen season. The dose increase should be completed before the pollen season begins.
Allergy immunization involves proven allergies using a skin test or blood test. Also, before starting treatment, a lung function test should be performed.
When vaccinating against allergies using Grazax tablets, an orodispersible tablet is taken every day for 3 years, and treatment should begin 4 months before the pollen season.
Possible side effects
Allergy immunization is associated with a certain risk of side effects. These may include mild symptoms such as:
- runny nose;
- itching in the eyes and larynx;
- shortness of breath;
- anaphylactic shock.
This is characteristic during the initial phase of immunization and the moment immediately after the injection. Therefore, immunization should be carried out in specially arranged places, where there are funds to assist with possible severe complications.
Also, therefore, you should not leave a hospital within 30 minutes after taking the immunization. During the first days after the injection, local reactions may occur, such as skin swelling, so physical activity should be avoided for the first 24 hours from the moment of immunization.
The most common side effects of vaccination with Grazax tablets are local allergic reactions in the mouth. They manifest in the form of burning or swelling of the hyoid area. In most cases, these reactions take place within a few weeks from the start of immunization.
What is the effect of the treatment?
It is a confirmed fact that immunization is an effective form of treatment that can alleviate allergic symptoms, improve the quality of life, and thereby significantly reduce the use of other medications. Most patients will deprive of allergy. However, some patients may not feel a significant improvement. It is not possible to determine in advance whether immunization will have an effect on a particular patient.
Allergy immunization is a form of treatment that takes a lot of time and money. The risk of side effects and the fact that not everyone will feel better after treatment makes it necessary to weigh the pros and cons before this procedure.
The development of new and more effective forms of immunotherapy gives reason to hope for the emergence of more reliable methods of treatment in the future.