treatment of asthma  



Treatment of asthma

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Influenza vaccinations:

NHLBI guidelines recommend annual influenza vaccinations for patients with  persistent asthma.


Also known as “Specific Immunotherapy” or SIT, this therapy has many names like desensitization, hypo sensitization, allergy shots, allergy vaccines and allergy injection therapy.
This was discovered in 1911 by Leonard Noon at the St. Mary’s Hospital, London. 
This therapy had its high and low times and is now accepted as the corner stone of treatment for allergic disorders.

The allergies are selected by skin tests and a vaccine is prepared. Subcutaneous injections of the allergen extract are given to the patient. 
They injections are initially given in low concentration usually 1:5000 twice a week, then slowly increased to 1:50 concentration and once a month.
The immunization is usually done for 5 years.

Indications for immunotherapy:

SIT is a well tested therapy for allergic disorders. This has been proven by many well controlled trials. SIT has potential for altering the course of the asthma and can even prevent progression.

Main indications are:

  • Allergic rhinitis

  • Allergic asthma

  • Insect sting allergy

  • Drug allergy.

  • SIT has no place in treating skin allergies. In fact it is contraindicated in urticaria as it may aggravate the disease. 

    Children below the age of 5 years should not be given immunotherapy as there are greater chance of adverse reaction and anaphylaxis.
    Results of immunotherapy are also not as effective beyond the age of 50 years.
    Immunotherapy can be safely given in pregnancy. No harm has ever been reported to mother or fetus. If a lady becomes pregnant during immunotherapy the therapy is continued as such. But SIT is usually not started during pregnancy.
    Patients on Beta blockers should tell the doctor about the drug.

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    Last edited 02-8-2010

       Contents of page- 4
     Influenza vaccinations
     Indications for immunotherapy

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