Diagnosis & Treatment Options
Many patients come to us frustrated by the duration and severity of their symptoms, and they embrace a faster route to relief! The abbreviated Cluster Immunotherapy build-up phase means patients start receiving the maintenance dose sooner. The maintenance dose is most effective at treating your specific allergies, so you should begin to feel better faster than with a slower schedule.
A Traditional Buildup requires a minimum of one allergy shot visit per week for 6-7 months in order to reach the maintenance dose. At each appointment, patients must wait in the office for 30 minutes after their injection to monitor for a reaction.
The total number of office visits drastically decreases with a Cluster Buildup. This phase usually lasts just 6-8 weeks with appointments scheduled up to twice per week. Appointments take around 60-90 minutes as patients receive 2-3 rounds of injections in one visit and must be observed after each round of shots. This can allow patients to reach their maintenance dose (and start to see results) nearly 3 time faster.
Once maintenance dose is attained with either protocol, shots will be spaced out to every 2-4 weeks according to a schedule created by the allergist. Most patients continue injections at the maintenance dose for 3-5 years in order to allow the shots to continue to help after they are stopped.
What to expect from Cluster Immunotherapy
An experienced Greater Austin Allergy physician will determine if Cluster Immunotherapy is a good fit for you, and will create a specific injection recipe based on your test results and specific allergy history.
The day before and the morning of your Cluster Immunotherapy appointments, you will take medication that reduces the risk of adverse reaction to the injections. Eat a light breakfast, wear a short-sleeve or sleeveless shirt, and bring something to entertain you while you wait between and after injections. You will also need to bring self-injecting epinephrine to each shot appointment. Upon arrival at our office, we will ensure that you are in good health that day before proceeding.
You will receive 2-3 rounds of injections per visit (each one with a slightly higher dose), with a 30-minute wait between them and a 30-minute wait after the final injection. Post-injection monitoring is essential so that our medical staff can address any adverse reaction. While research shows Cluster Immunotherapy to be both safe and effective, systemic reactions have occurred such as hives, itchy eyes, congestion, sneezing, chest tightness/wheezing, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and anaphylaxis.
Assuming you do well with the Cluster Immunotherapy and reach your maintenance dose, you will move to weekly injections that will space out further until they become monthly. If you have any reactions during Cluster Immunotherapy, the schedule and dosing will be adjusted accordingly by your Greater Austin Allergy specialist.
Don’t let allergies hold you back! Give us a call today to schedule an appointment with one of our allergy experts. We look forward to discussing how Cluster Immunotherapy can improve your quality of life more rapidly than traditional allergy shots. Book an appointment today!