In the structure of infectious and allergic diseases, the most common disease is considered to be bronchial asthma. Epidemiologists have noted an upward trend in morbidity.
This situation requires effective therapies. Various treatments are used. At the same time, the World Health Organization recognized SIT as the most effective of them for patients with bronchial asthma.
Finally, a treatment has appeared that can reduce or completely remove the symptoms of this disease.
SIT therapy for asthma
Specific therapy is a unique technique that treats hypersensitivity in a radical way. Its essence lies in the introduction into the body of an injection of an active substance that causes an allergy.
They began to use it at the beginning of the 20th century for the treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis. The method has proven its positive impact, its main advantage is its effectiveness.
The manifestations of inflammatory reactions and asthma attacks stop for several years after the SIT in bronchial asthma. Within 2-3 months of therapy, the body reacts less and less to doses of the allergen.
The treatment procedure must be repeated several times, but this method provides a long-term remission of asthma.
Experts recommend starting specific treatment immediately after detecting allergic bronchial asthma . The technique shows the highest result if it is applied at the first stage of the disease, without waiting for complications.
The treatment should be handled by professional allergists-immunologists, as the method can cause serious side effects.
Mechanisms of specific immunotherapy
Specific therapy affects the production of antibodies and the allergic process at the cellular level. With effective treatment in a patient:
- resistance to injected allergens develops;
- immune reactions are normalized;
- the activity of lymphocytes is inhibited;
- the manifestations of hypersensitivity are mitigated;
- decreases inflammation.
The immunological response to treatment depends entirely on how correctly the dose of the administered allergens is selected.
Treatment mechanisms are varied. They are based on the restructuring of the immune system, control of the production of cytokines, antibodies and immunoglobulin, which affect the sensitization process. The therapy inhibits the initial and last phase of an allergic reaction, relieves inflammation, and reduces the increased susceptibility of the bronchi to irritants.
Systematic injections of a specific dose of an allergy vaccine stimulate the immune system, developing resistance to a specific allergen.
Indications and contraindications
Previously, SIT was performed only in patients who were not helped by other methods of treatment. Thanks to today’s progress, a specific method is quite effective and is widely used. It can be used even for 5 year olds.
Hyposensitization is prescribed for chronic inflammation of the respiratory tract, manifested by attacks of shortness of breath, coughing and other manifestations caused by exposure to certain allergens, as well as for various types of allergic reactions.
- hay fever;
- anaphylactic reaction to insect venom;
- atopic asthma with mild to moderate clinical manifestations;
- atopic dermatitis;
- inflammation of the conjunctiva caused by an allergen.
- cardiovascular disease;
- pathology of the endocrine system;
- some ENT diseases;
- gastroenterological diseases.
The largest target group for SIT is patients with bronchial asthma.
A course of specific treatment can be prescribed to patients with the following diseases:
- allergy year-round, seasonal, pollen;
- chronic non-infectious allergy;
- infectious allergy;
- food allergic reaction.
The therapy is prescribed after a thorough immunological examination. In addition, the allergen must be precisely identified.
Treatment is prescribed if contact with the irritant cannot be limited.
Specific immunotherapy is not recommended for:
- patients with tuberculosis;
- in violation of the functions of the kidneys, liver;
- people with mental disorders;
- with pathologies of the thyroid gland;
- pregnant women;
- with oncological diseases;
- kids under 5 years old;
- people over the age of 55-60.
SIT should not be performed when any disease is in an exacerbation phase, as well as if this method did not help earlier.
SIT for bronchial asthma is a fairly effective method, but there is a risk when injecting an allergen. There were cases when injections were harmful to health.
The benefits of this therapy include:
- improvement of the condition with allergies of various forms;
- prolonged remission, accompanied by a weakening and complete disappearance of symptoms;
- preventing the transition of mild clinical symptoms of allergy to a more severe form;
- reducing the need for the use of medicines;
- relative safety;
- convenient application;
- maintaining the efficiency of patients.
Although specific treatment is not considered dangerous, an allergen is introduced into the body, so it is necessary to monitor the patient’s condition.
Specific immunotherapy reduces hypersensitivity not only to any allergen, but also to environmental factors that have an irritating effect:
- cold air;
- cigarette smoke;
- strong odors.
The advantage of a specific technique is not only the treatment of allergies, but also its prevention.
The most effective therapeutic effect of SIT on patients whose disease is not neglected.
Currently, immune therapy has practically no drawbacks, but it is necessary to highlight some points:
- long duration of therapy;
- there is a small risk of anaphylactic shock in the patient during the administration of allergens;
- adverse reactions.
The effectiveness of the technique is determined by the quality of the allergic vaccines .
How is therapy carried out
Therapy needs to be planned well in advance. Seasonal allergies, such as summer allergies, should be treated in the fall or winter. Year-round allergies can be treated all year round.
Before starting the SIT, you need to prepare for the event. To do this, you should:
- conduct allergy tests ;
- follow the recommendations of the attending specialist;
- exclude certain foods from the menu;
- refuse antihistamines;
- follow a hypoallergenic diet.
SIT provides preliminary specific diagnostics. It includes:
- study of an allergic anamnesis;
- performing skin tests;
- immunological tests;
- elimination tests;
- clarification of etiological factors.
The principle of treatment is reminiscent of the medieval method of accustoming the body to poisons. At one time, the feudal lords took poisonous substances, increasing the portions, so that then no one could poison them. Since the body was already trained, it coped with lethal doses.
A similar effect is exerted by the introduction of an allergen into the body at regular intervals. This method forms immunity to a certain substance and suppresses allergic reactions.
Method use cases
The SIT method can be used in several ways:
- short pre-season course lasting up to 6 weeks;
- full pre-season course – up to 6 months;
- year-round therapy.
Treatment is carried out in different ways:
- subcutaneous injections;
- orally, that is, drops in the mouth;
- sublingual – preparations for resorption;
- intranasally – nasal drops;
- endonasally – a puncture – free method with a sinus catheter.
One full course lasts several months. The drug should be used up to three times a week. In total, you need to carry out 25-40 injections within 2-3 months.
Subcutaneous injections are performed by an allergist in a specialized office using insulin syringes. The course of therapy is designed to treat allergies to only one type of irritant:
- on plant pollen;
- house dust;
- on ticks.
Since there are three periods of exacerbation of allergies, for convenience, therapeutic allergens were combined into the following mixtures:
- early spring;
With regular repetition of courses, the patient’s condition improves markedly in the first year. For persistent remission, it is recommended to carry out therapy for 3 to 5 years.
With any scheme, treatment is carried out in two steps.
- Initial phase: a long phase of obtaining the maximum dose of the allergen.
- The phase supporting the action of therapy: the introduction of the allergen in small doses with a gradual increase in the amount of the substance to the maximum tolerable.
There are short courses of therapy. Their schemes are as follows:
- shock method: the vaccine is administered every 2 hours for 1 day;
- instant: the injection is done every 3 hours for 3 days;
- accelerated: treatment is carried out three times a day.
Short term treatments are less effective than long term treatments. They are performed only in inpatient departments of medical institutions, since there is a risk of adverse reactions. At this time, the patient is hospitalized. Treatment may take several days.
Any attempts to self- administer allergy therapy can lead to serious negative consequences. Only a doctor can, after conducting an examination, prescribe immunotherapy and establish the exact dosage of the allergic vaccine .
Possible side effects
Specific immunotherapy can cause a number of side effects. In order not to worsen the situation, it is recommended to seek treatment only from professional allergists.
The SIT method is capable of causing negative local and systemic reactions. Many patients may experience:
- local redness of the skin;
- swelling of the epidermis.
Symptoms go away within a few days after the medication is given. In the event that this begins to bother the patient greatly, the doctor prescribes antihistamines. This lengthens the interval between vaccine administration.
Systemic side signs can be noticed after the procedure for half an hour. They can manifest in both mild and severe forms.
- itchy nose;
- joint pain;
- temperature increase.
- skin rash;
- labored breathing;
- itchy skin.
- bronchial spasm;
- laryngeal edema;
- diffuse rash;
- nettle fever.
Side effects in severe form in allergy sufferers are manifested mainly in the poison of Hymenoptera.
In order to prevent complications, it is recommended to adhere to a special diet prescribed by a doctor. An allergist may recommend taking antihistamines. In this case, you should not stop the main treatment of bronchial asthma.
In order to exclude complications of any kind after SIT, the patient must carefully monitor his health. For the smallest changes in the body, you should inform your doctor. By following the recommendations of experts, you can reduce the risk of side effects.
The effectiveness of the treatment
Specific immunotherapy has been shown to be highly effective in reducing the frequency of allergy symptoms or asthma attacks.
Clinical efficacy can only be achieved with close collaboration between the patient and the allergist. Since the process of immunotherapy is long, you need to understand how important it is to adhere to all the doctor’s recommendations.
The main action of the technique is to eliminate allergic manifestations and to stop taking medications. The treatment results are:
- long-term remission;
- reducing the impact of allergens on the development of inflammation in the bronchi;
- reducing the need for pharmacological drugs.
A positive SIT result is achieved after completion of all courses of therapy. The earlier treatment is started, the faster the effect will come.
Almost 100% of patients with allergic rhinitis, having undergone SIT, get rid of hypersensitivity to causally significant allergens.
Scientists continue to search for the most effective ways to treat allergic forms of bronchial asthma. Today, the SIT method has become the prerogative of specialists.
Specific immunotherapy has been carried out for quite a long time, but it ensures a long life without acute allergic manifestations.
Pharmacology offers a huge number of drugs for allergies. Some of them cost a lot of money. But can all medications help?