-- Robert Preidt
MONDAY, Aug. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Insect-sting allergies are on
the rise, with 5 percent of Americans now affected, according to a
Many people with this type of allergy don't know they can do
something about it, according to the article, published in the
August issue of the journal
Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
"While it does not always cure insect-sting allergy, venom immunotherapy, a form of allergy shots, can almost always prevent severe reactions to stings," report author Dr. David Golden said in a news release from the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. "It usually provides long-lasting immunity even after the treatment is stopped."
Even 10 to 20 years after having an allergic reaction from an
insect sting, the chance of having another reaction remains
Venom immunotherapy doesn't completely eliminate the risk of an
allergic reaction to insect stings, but reactions that do occur are
usually mild and there is a less than a 2 percent chance of a
severe reaction while on treatment, Golden said.
Protection takes effect as soon as the full dose is reached,
usually within two to three months of treatment. As with other
forms of allergy shots, the recommended duration of venom
immunotherapy is three to five years.
"Allergy sufferers who have had an allergic reaction to an insect sting should be under the care of a board-certified allergist," Golden said. "For those with severe reactions, prescribed emergency epinephrine should always be carried. Sufferers should also talk with their allergist to see if venom immunotherapy is right for them. It's not always a cure, but it is close."
The college also offered the following sting-prevention
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has more about
insect bites and stings.
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