Immunotherapy works by suppressing your body’s reaction to allergies. Allergies are caused by an overreaction of the immune system to non-harmful substances (pollens, house dust mites, animal dander etc) or venom allergen from insect stings (bees, wasps etc).
The treatments we offer are:
- Allergen immunotherapy – given by injections under the skin (also known as subcutaneous immunotherapy) every week for two to three months, followed by every four to six weeks for three years
- Sublingual immunotherapy – digesting dissolvable tablets, which will need to be taken under observations in our hospital followed by daily treatment at home.
Most people respond very well to treatment, with a reduction of symptoms and medication use.
Treatment is mainly given for allergic rhinoconjunctivitis (including severe hay fever) and for life-threatening reactions to insect stings. Symptomatic treatment may still be required.
Find out more about our asthma and allergy services.
- Not every allergic patient may be suitable for allergen immunotherapy, which means having an individual assessment is crucial.
- Patients with insect allergies should continue carrying an adrenaline injector device.
- Both treatments may cause some side effects, such as itchiness and swelling.
- Some serious reactions, such as difficulty in breathing, faintness or sickness (anaphylaxis), are rare, and mostly occur within 30 minutes of the dose. We will have a 60-minute observation period after each injection.
Sometimes severe allergic reactions can occur so it is important to know how to avoid contact with latex if you have this allergy.
Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction that can be life-threatening or fatal.
People with hay fever (rhinitis) have inflamed lining in their nose, which causes it to be blocked, running and itchy, as well as causing sneezing.
Urticaria is a condition which involves the development of itchy wheals (hives) on the skin.
Around 5–10% of people who have a problem with a drug are suffering from a drug allergy, possibly one prescribed by their GP or as part of an investigation in hospital.
Between 1-10% of adults and children in the UK have a food allergy.
The Trust offers a wide range of allergy services for adults of all ages. This includes specialist services for patients with difficult to manage allergies.
Allergy team contact information
Fulham wing/South block, Fulham Road
Tel: 020 7351 8892
Fax: 020 7351 8949