Treatment of Allergy

There has been tremendous development in the field of allergy treatment and allergic disorders, especially in the management of food allergies and also allergy due to drugs, insects and anaphylaxis. At present it is possible to identify the IgE (immunoglobulin E), which binds to the protein (food protein or any other protein that cause allergy) and cause severe reaction or allergy. Based on the identification of food proteins which results in allergy, it is nor possible to produce low-allergen foods (such as gluten free diet) for individuals who are allergic to that particular protein. Using lead from food proteins “skin prick test” results and atopy patch test results can be better interpreted.

Despite tremendous development in the management of allergy, traditional managements such as simple avoidance of allergens as much as practicable are still a good treatment option for allergic disorders. Avoidance of allergens is practicable only in certain circumstances, e.g. if you are allergic to an animal, you can avoid that animal, but if you are allergic to airborne particles such a pollen, it may not be practicable to avoid pollens and you need to use other methods of treatment of allergy such as pharmacotherapy and immunotherapy.

Pharmacotherapy for allergy treatment:

This consists of using drugs which antagonize the mediators of allergy or drugs which prevent degranulation of cells which can release allergic mediators. Examples include antihistamines (which antagonize the major mediator of allergy, i.e. histamine), glucocorticoids (which prevent all inflammatory mediators), mast cell stabilizers such as cromolyn sodium, leukotriene antagonists (montelukast, zafirlukast etc.) and many other pharmacotherapeutic agents.

Immunotherapy in allergy:

Immunotherapy is some sort of vaccination against allergy to a particular allergen, which is done by exposure to progressively larger dose of allergen in question, which makes an allergic person to become desensitized to that particular allergen and the allergen can no more invoke allergic response to the individual desensitized. Desensitization can sometimes eliminate hypersensitivity or at least it reduces severity. This procedure slowly reduces excess IgE production.

A second type of immunotherapy is done by injecting monoclonal anti-IgE antibodies intravenously. This cause destruction of free IgE and IgE bound to B cells. Omalizumab is a monoclonal anti-IgE antibody which is being used in several types of allergic disorders.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment