General Practice 2022

Rhinitis vaccine: how it works, how to use it and side effects

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Rhinitis vaccine: how it works, how to use it and side effects
Rhinitis vaccine: how it works, how to use it and side effects
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The anti-allergic vaccine, also called specific immunotherapy, is a treatment capable of controlling allergic diseases, such as allergic rhinitis, and consists of the administration of injections with allergens, which are administered in increasing doses, in a to reduce the allergic person's sensitivity to those allergens that cause rhinitis.

Allergy is an overreaction of the immune system to certain substances that the body perceives as invasive and harmful. People who are more likely to have allergies are those who have respiratory diseases such as asthma, rhinitis or sinusitis.

In addition to allergic rhinitis, specific immunotherapy can also be applied to conditions such as allergic conjunctivitis, allergic asthma, latex allergy, allergic reactions to insect sting venom or other IgE-mediated hypersensitivity diseases.

How it works

The administration of the vaccine must be individualized for each patient. The choice of allergen must be made by identifying specific IgE antibodies, through allergological tests, which allow a quantitative and qualitative assessment of the allergy, giving preference to environmental allergens prevalent in the region where the person lives.

The initial dose should be adapted to the person's sensitivity and then the doses should be progressively increased and given at regular intervals until a maintenance dose is reached.

Treatment time may vary from one person to another, because treatment is individualized. These injections are generally well tolerated and do not produce serious side effects, and in some cases a rash and redness of the skin may occur. Learn more about allergy shots.

Who can do the treatment

Immunotherapy is indicated for people who suffer from exaggerated allergic reactions that can be controlled, such as allergic rhinitis, sinusitis, allergic asthma, allergic conjunctivitis and insect sting allergy. The most suitable situations to perform this type of treatment in people with allergic rhinitis are:

  • Medicines or preventive measures are not enough to control exposure;
  • The person does not want to take long-term medication;
  • Intolerance to side effects of drug treatment;
  • In addition to rhinitis, the person also suffers from asthma.

The rhinitis vaccine is available at private clinics and must be recommended by the doctor, who can indicate the concentration and allergen and the most appropriate treatment time. See other forms of treatment for rhinitis.

Who should not undergo treatment

Treatment should not be performed in people with corticosteroid-dependent asthma, severe atopic dermatitis, pregnant women, the elderly under 2 years and the elderly.

In addition, specific immunotherapy is also not recommended for people with autoimmune diseases, severe psychiatric disorders, those using adrenergic beta-blockers, with non-IgE-mediated allergic disease, and conditions at risk for the use of epinephrine.

Possible side effects

Some of the effects that may occur during treatment, especially 30 minutes after receiving the injections are erythema, swelling and itching at the injection site, sneezing, coughing, diffuse erythema, hives and difficulty breathing.

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