Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Allergies: Specific Immunotherapy Works For Many People, Research Suggests

Date:
June 16, 2008
Source:
Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care
Summary:
Specific immune therapy works for many people and it is becoming increasingly popular in Europe. When it is green and the flowers have returned, the allergy season has hit its peak. And the number of people affected is still rising. At least 1 in 5 people in get hayfever, and up to half of the population react at least sometimes to airborne allergens like pollen or house dust mites.

The German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care has assessed recent evidence on allergies. It found that the once controversial immune therapy against allergy symptoms can definitely help many people with allergies.

When it is green and the flowers have returned, the allergy season has hit its peak. And the number of people affected is still rising. At least 1 in 5 people in get hayfever, and up to half of the population react at least sometimes to airborne allergens like pollen or house dust mites. But we still do not why allergies increased so much in recent decades. The Director of the Institute, Professor Peter Sawicki, said that none of the theories about the increase in allergies has been proven. For example, childhood immunisation does not seem to be responsible for the growth of allergies.

"There are many unproven claims about allergies,” said Professor Sawicki, "but there is also a growing body of research that has sifted out some facts from the myths. For example, expensive and time-consuming effort like removing all carpets from the house or washing bedlinen very frequently will be a waste for most people: it really is not possible to remove all the allergens from the house, no matter how hard you try. But there are things that can work, like specific immune therapy. And a range of drugs can reduce symptoms."

The Institute has reviewed the latest independent analyses of allergy research to find out which treatments or prevention measures could really work. Allergen immunotherapy can done by injections or sublingual ("under the tongue") drops, tablets or sprays. Both injections and sublingual treatments work. A report* shows that more than a dozen of these immunotherapy extracts are now amongst the 3,000 most prescribed medicines in Germany.

According to Professor Sawicki, "Sublingual therapy in particular is becoming very popular in Europe. Research has shown that it can reduce allergic symptoms in adults and it causes less adverse reactions than injections. We are still not completely certain if it is as effective as injections, or whether it works for children. But many more trials are being done and we expect good answers to these questions soon."

In , the use of anti-histamines has dropped greatly in recent years. The Institute also examined the latest research on some of the biggest-selling anti-histamines. They can all relieve symptoms, but adverse effects are common with all of them. Some might provide relief more quickly than others, and some might have more adverse effects.

The Institute also looked at what might work to prevent allergies developing in children and came to several conclusions. If the parents quit smoking, this can help. Some infant formulas can occasionally cause some allergies. And there are early signs that pregnant women taking probiotics late in pregnancy might be able to help.

"Probiotics in pregnancy is an area of research the Institute will continue to monitor, to see whether trials establish whether or not this can really prevent allergies," according to Professor Sawicki.

The Institute's website, Informed Health Online, informs the public in plain language about evidence and medical developments that would interest those affected. The information is both English and German. The information released today reports on preventing allergies in children, specific immune therapy and some of the most commonly used anti-histamines. People who want to keep up with the latest publications on this independent publicly-funded website can subscribe to the free newsletter.

*Schwabe U, Paffrath D, Arzneiverordnungs-Report 2007. Heidelberg: Springer Medizin Verlag 2008.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care. "Allergies: Specific Immunotherapy Works For Many People, Research Suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080611135034.htm>.
Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care. (2008, June 16). Allergies: Specific Immunotherapy Works For Many People, Research Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 3, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080611135034.htm
Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care. "Allergies: Specific Immunotherapy Works For Many People, Research Suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080611135034.htm (accessed September 3, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Fear They're Losing Battle Against Ebola

Doctors Fear They're Losing Battle Against Ebola

AP (Sep. 2, 2014) As a third American missionary is confirmed to have contracted Ebola in Liberia, doctors on the ground in West Africa fear they're losing the battle against the outbreak. (Sept. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tech Giants Bet on 3D Headsets for Gaming, Healthcare

Tech Giants Bet on 3D Headsets for Gaming, Healthcare

AFP (Sep. 2, 2014) When Facebook acquired the virtual reality hardware developer Oculus VR in March for $2 billion, CEO Mark Zuckerberg hailed the firm's technology as "a new communication platform." Duration: 02:24 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins