Conventional allergy immunotherapy requires a considerable time commitment since an allergy shot is given once or twice a week for about five months. The amount of allergen is gradually increased until a maintenance dose is reached, so there is no longer a reaction to the allergen. Research presented by allergist Richard Weber, MD, ACAAI vice president, shows allergists who use accelerated schedules known as cluster and rush immunotherapy find patients experience benefits faster and reach their maintenance dose sooner.
You shouldn t have to put your life on hold to treat your allergies, said Dr. Weber. Accelerated schedules offer patients more flexibility, faster results and a treatment plan they are more likely to follow because it reflects their needs and busy lifestyle.
Rush immunotherapy typically involves a patient getting multiple injections two or three days in a row, but schedules may be varied either shorter or longer to suit circumstances.
Cluster immunotherapy aims to help patients reach a point where they no longer react to the allergen in a few weeks by giving two to four injections 30 minutes apart for one day each week for three weeks.
Research shows accelerated schedules are safe and effective options, and they appeal to patients who do not want to commit to weekly allergy shots for five or six months, said Dr. Weber.