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Allergen immunotherapy for allergic disease: Therapeutic mechanisms

Mübeccel Akdis, MD, PhD
Section Editor
Peter S Creticos, MD
Deputy Editor
Anna M Feldweg, MD


Allergen immunotherapy (AIT) is the only disease-modifying treatment available for several common allergic diseases. Subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT) is the best studied form of AIT and is effective for allergic rhinitis and rhinoconjunctivitis, allergic asthma, and Hymenoptera venom allergy. SCIT involves the repeated subcutaneous injection of increasing amounts of allergen beginning with very small doses of allergen and gradually increasing to higher doses. Another popular method of AIT involves sublingual administration in the form of dissolvable tablets or extracts. This topic will discuss the known immunologic changes that occur during AIT. Other topics related to AIT are found separately:

(See "Subcutaneous immunotherapy for allergic disease: Indications and efficacy".)

(See "Sublingual immunotherapy for allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and asthma".)

(See "SCIT: Standard schedules, administration techniques, and monitoring".)

(See "SCIT: Preparation of allergen extracts for therapeutic use".)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Aug 21, 2017.
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