What are the possible adverse effects of immunotherapy for the treatment of asthma?

Updated: Oct 07, 2019
  • Author: John J Oppenheimer, MD; Chief Editor: Michael A Kaliner, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Risks in allergen immunotherapy include serious adverse reactions (occurring in 1 per 30–500 people, usually within 30 min). The estimated crude annual death rate from this treatment is 0.7 deaths per million population. Uncontrolled asthma is a major risk factor for immunotherapy-related death; therefore, appropriate caution should be exercised.

Monitoring and resuscitation personnel and equipment are required in allergen immunotherapy.

Allergen immunotherapy should be avoided if the patient is taking beta blockers or is having an asthma exacerbation (ie, PEFR < 70% of patient’s personal best) or has moderate or worse fixed obstruction.


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