Are you in a RUSH to feel better?
With today’s busy lifestyles, many people find it difficult to include even an extra one-half hour into their day. For those with bothersome nasal and eye allergies that do not respond well to avoidance measures and allergy medications, allergen immunotherapy (allergy shots) can be the answer that can finally provide relief. Allergy shots can be extremely effective in combating allergies and provide long-lasting symptom improvement, but it can be somewhat time consuming for our hectic schedules.
As mentioned previously, allergy shots work by making the body’s immune system more tolerant to allergens and include two separate phases, build-up and maintenance. The build-up phase includes weekly or twice weekly injections until the final dose is received at which point the maintenance phase begins. Once the maintenance phase has been reached, the frequency will begin to decrease to a monthly injection. The doses at or very near the maintenance phase contain enough allergen to begin to provide improvement in allergy symptoms. The problem is that it may take 6 months to build up to the final dose, and many of us would like to be able to feel better faster.
Luckily there is another option, and it is called RUSH Immunotherapy. Rush immunotherapy is a technique that accelerates the administration of allergen injections and therefore shortens the time frame required to obtain relief from allergies. Conventional immunotherapy consists of weekly or twice weekly build-up allergen injections, administered over a period of four to six months in increasing doses until the final dose is reached. Rush immunotherapy procedures are designed to reach maintenance much faster than can be achieved with conventional immunotherapy.
The Rush procedure begins with administering allergy medications such as prednisone and antihistamines prior to the office visit. On the day of Rush, one will receive increasing doses of their allergy shots over 6 hours, and the doses are increased to about 1/10th of the full maintenance dose. This avoids the first 14 office visits for conventional immunotherapy and allows clinical improvement to occur much faster. Full maintenance is usually reached within about 1-2 months.
There are multiple advantages of Rush immunotherapy.
- More rapid clinical improvement resulting in quicker relief – Rush immunotherapy induces the immunologic changes that occur during the build-up phase more rapidly than conventional schedules. Thus, patients experience clinical benefit sooner. Some patients will even notice improvement soon after completing the rush procedure.
- Fewer visits for allergy injections with greater convenience - Inconvenience is the most common reason patients discontinue conventional immunotherapy. Rush immunotherapy involves fewer office visits and makes it easier to fully complete the therapy. It also permits individuals who live long distances from an allergy clinic to receive allergy shots on a less frequent basis, therefore significantly reducing the number of visits and commuting time. In addition, Rush immunotherapy accommodates busy schedules, especially for individuals who travel frequently.
- Reduced cost — Rush schedules involve fewer total injections and so can be less costly by reducing the number of office visits and insurance copays.
There is an increased rate of allergic reactions with Rush when compared to conventional immunotherapy, but most are mild and are easily treated. In addition, proper precautions, effective premedication and monitoring protocols are in place to reduce this risk. Rush immunotherapy is not for everyone, particularly those with severe asthma and young children, and our allergists here at Atlanta ENT, Sinus & Allergy can help you decide what are the best options for you.
Atlanta ENT, Sinus & Allergy Associates’ board-certified allergists have numerous years combined with Rush Immunotherapy and have been properly trained in this technique. When it comes to the newest treatments, therapies and procedures, Atlanta ENT, Sinus & Allergy is on the cutting edge of these technologies. If you have problems with your allergies, ask your doctor about Atlanta ENT, Sinus & Allergy Associates or feel free to give us a call and make an appointment to find out more about how Rush Immunotherapy can help you with your allergies and help you breathe better and feel better…. FASTER