Immunotherapy For Allergies - Sarasota, FL

Symptom relief is within your grasp at Allergy Associates of Sarasota & Venice. We offer allergy shots, drops, and tablets for long-term allergy and asthma relief.

Although the best defense against allergies is avoidance, that’s not always a realistic option. Oftentimes, it can be impossible to completely avoid allergens, especially if you suffer from seasonal allergies. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to suffer needlessly. Allergy immunotherapy is a highly effective treatment that gradually builds up the body’s tolerance to allergens via injection, sublingual tablets, or drops. Allergy injections (or allergy shots) are scientifically proven to reduce the symptoms associated with all types of allergies, as well as allergic asthma. See one of our allergy specialists today and find out if immunotherapy is right for you.

If you’re ready to address your allergy, schedule an appointment with us today.

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FAQs on Immunotherapy: 

What Is Immunotherapy? 

Immunotherapy (also known as biologic therapy) is a treatment used to relieve allergy and asthma symptoms by administering injections of various allergens. These allergens include pollens, mold spores, dust mites, animal danders, or insects. 

How Does Immunotherapy Work?

Allergy immunotherapy works similar to a vaccine. When an allergic person is exposed to an allergen, he or she may develop symptoms of sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, and watery eyes. Your body responds to the injected allergen by developing a tolerance to it. Increasing doses of allergy injections are given once or twice a week until a maintenance dose is reached.

How Often Do You Need Allergy Shots?

Allergy shots are usually given every 1 to 4 weeks over the next several years of treatment. Once symptoms improve, injections are usually continued for 4 to 5 years in what is called ‘maintenance therapy.’ At that time, you and your doctor will make a joint decision about whether to gradually taper off and discontinue injections, or to continue treatment.

When Do Allergy Shots Start Working?

Patients can expect to see improvement in their allergy symptoms within the first year of treatment. For a small percentage of patients, there is no improvement. In that case, the doctor will decide if immunotherapy should be discontinued or if allergy tests should be repeated.

What Allergy Treatments Are Available?

  • Allergy shots
  • Sublingual tablets
  • Drops

How Effective Are Allergy Shots?

Highly effective! Recent research has proven the effectiveness of allergy immunotherapy for decreasing the symptoms of allergic rhinitis, asthma, and stinging insect allergies. These studies confirmed what allergy specialists observed for years - that allergy shots actually work to relieve allergy symptoms. In fact, allergy shots are the only way to suppress the underlying allergy response for long-term relief.

What Is Biologic Therapy?

Biologic therapy is a treatment that uses pharmaceutical drugs made from living organisms to treat various diseases. These drugs are manufactured using biotechnology, and are designed to precisely target the pathways and cells in the body that cause severe asthma. 

What Are The Biologic Therapy Drugs For Asthma?

Our office provides five different injectable asthma medications:

  • Xolair - an injection given once every 2 to 4 weeks to patients with poorly controlled asthma and year-round allergies. It works to block the antibody that causes allergic asthma symptoms.
  • Nucala - an injection given once every 4 weeks to patients with eosinophilic asthma. Nucala reduces the number of disease-fighting white blood cells in your blood.
  • Cinqair - an injection given intravenously (through the vein) once every 4 weeks. It is also used to treat eosinophilic asthma by reducing the number of white blood cells in the body. It takes anywhere between 20 to 50 minutes to complete the infusion.
  • Fasenra - an injection given once every 4 weeks for the first 3 doses, then once every 8 weeks 
  • Patients. It is also used to treat eosinophilic asthma by reducing the number of white blood cells in the body.
  • Dupilumab - an injection given once every other week to patients with eosinophilic asthma that is poorly managed. It works by blocking inflammatory cells. The first three doses will be given in the office so patients can learn how to inject it by themselves at home. 

What Are The Benefits of Biologic Therapy?

Biologic therapy for asthma can significantly improve the quality of life for those with severe asthma symptoms. Specifically, it can:

  • Decrease overall hospitalizations and ER visits
  • Eliminate the need for oral steroids
  • Lower a patient’s necessary dose of asthma controller medication
  • Reduce asthma symptoms
  • Improve lung function

Are Biologics Right For Me?

Biologic therapy is meant for patients who are unable to manage their asthma with standard inhalers. Before receiving a biologic drug, your doctor will go over your current routine to make sure you’re taking controller medications properly. You should explore the option of biologic drugs with your doctor if you are experiencing:

  • Frequent coughing/wheezing
  • Frequent shortness of breath
  • Waking in the middle of the night due to breathing difficulty
  • Recurring visits to the ER

If you have questions about allergy shots or would like to explore allergy immunotherapy, request an appointment or call our offices.