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Allergy Shots to Lymph Nodes May Work Better

'Practically Painless' Shots May Offer Quicker Relief, Researchers Report
By
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Nov. 11, 2008 -- Allergy shots given directly to the lymph nodes may bring quicker allergy relief than traditional allergy shots.

Researchers report that news in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

They studied 183 adults with hay fever, splitting the patients into two groups.

One group of patients got three allergy shots to their lymph nodes over two months (one shot at the study's start, a second shot four weeks later, and the third shot eight weeks into the study).

Patients in the other group got traditional immunotherapy, consisting of 54 under-the-skin (subcutaneous) allergy shots spread over three years.

Patients in the lymph node group had three advantages over patients in the subcutaneous group:

  • Milder allergic reactions to the shots
  • Quicker improvement in tolerance to their allergen
  • Less use of "rescue" medicines to relieve allergy symptoms

Three years later, the lymph node shots hadn't worn off, though patients in both groups reported similar degrees of improvement in their allergy symptoms.

People might be more willing to get lymph node shots because fewer shots are required and they are "practically painless," write the researchers, who included Thomas Kundig, MD, of Switzerland's University Hospital Zurich.

The journal notes that Kundig is the inventor named for intralymphatic immunotherapy (the lymph node shots) on a patent owned by the University of Zurich.

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