What is venom immunotherapy?
Like any other immunotherapy, venom immunotherapy is designed to develop antibodies to neutralize venoms before they can cause a reaction.
What are the benefits of immunotherapy?
Allergy medications control your symptoms only as long as you continue taking them. Immunotherapy or allergy shots may offer lasting relief from your allergy symptoms and eliminate the need for other medications. Immunotherapy may also help prevent you from developing asthma or new allergies in the future.
And it works. It’s estimated more than 90% of patients who receive three to five years of immunotherapy for insect venom don’t have a severe reaction to future stings. Individuals who have had a severe reaction to an insect sting and don’t have immunotherapy are at greater risk for a severe reaction in the future.
How long does it take before venom immunotherapy starts working?
Your Advanced Allergy & Asthma specialist discusses the complete details of immunotherapy with you before scheduling the treatment. In general, however, you undergo a build-up phase, during which small but increasing doses of venom are injected to obtain desensitization. This phase can take three to six months. After you’ve reached appropriate levels, you begin the maintenance phase, which can last for three to five years. During this time, you’ll need less frequent injections, but the benefits of desensitization continue.
Is immunotherapy safe?
You may experience mild swelling or redness at the injection site when undergoing venom immunotherapy. This can occur during the build-up and maintenance phases. It’s otherwise considered highly effective and safe for treating insect venom allergies. And the benefits of immunotherapy outweigh the risks in most cases.
Schedule a visit at Advanced Allergy & Asthma today to learn more about venom immunotherapy and what it might mean for you. Call the office or schedule your visit online.