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Immunotherapy

What is Immunotherapy?

Immunotherapy functions similarly to a vaccine in that its purpose is to modulate immune response to specific allergens. Historically, immunotherapy treatments were exclusively prescribed for aero-allergens, such as pollens, house dust mites, animals and mould spores. Recently, however, the treatment has been extended to oral immunotherapy, including the treatment of peanut allergies.

Immunotherapy is prescribed based on the Skin Prick and Blood Test results as well as the clinical symptoms affecting your quality of life. It is available as an oral medication, taken daily, in liquid or tablet form. All treatments are recommended for a minimum of three years.

Reassessment is requiredafter the second year of treatment to assess the clinical response to immunotherapy. The treatments can be started at home via video consultation with our Clinical Nurse Specialist.

Why do I need Immunotherapy?

The primary purpose of immunotherapy is to improve the patient’s quality of life alongside modulating severe reactions to a specific allergen. This treatment is an optional add-on; the minimum course is three years resulting in up to 10 years symptom-free or with minimal residual symptoms of reaction.

In highly sensitive cases, treatment may be longer. The decision to prolong treatment will be determined by Professor Lack during the second year review.

Desensitisation for foods such as peanuts are now available. However, others such as cashew and pistachio are awaiting completion of clinical trials and the subsequent authorisation from regulatory medicine authorities.