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Allergies Health Center

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New Hope for Pollen, Milk Allergies

Shorter Course of Allergy Shots, Skin Patch for Milk Allergies Among New Approaches

A Shorter Course of Allergy Shots continued...

In a separate study of nearly 900 people with seasonal grass pollen allergies, those who received four preseasonal shots of Pollinex Quattro slept more soundly, had less nasal congestion, and generally felt better, compared with patients given placebo.

A spokesperson for Allergy Therapeutics, which makes Pollinex Quattro and funded the studies, tells WebMD that the company hopes to apply for FDA approval of the product in the next year. They have already applied for approval in the European Union.

Skin Patch for Milk Allergies

Eight of 13 children with dairy allergies who wore a skin patch for three months could drink three times as much milk as before without showing signs of an allergic reaction, reports Christophe Dupont, MD, PhD, of Hopital Saint Vincent de Paul in Paris.

None of the seven children given a placebo patch showed that much increased tolerance, he says.

The experimental skin patch, which is coated with cow’s milk powder, was placed on the children’s backs every other day. It’s called Viaskin and is made by DBV Technologies, which funded the research.

One child could drink nearly three cups of milk after three months of treatment, Dupont says. Others built enough immunity to prevent allergic reactions if they ate foods that contained trace amounts of milk proteins.

Dupont says that a major advantage of the patch over allergy shots is that you can remove it if someone suffers an allergic reaction.

Wesley Burks, MD, chief of the division of pediatric allergy and immunology at Duke University Medical Center, tells WebMD that the approach is promising, but that more studies looking at its safety are needed. Burks was not involved with the study.

Oral Immunotherapy for Children With Milk Allergies

Other researchers are following 15 children who successfully completed a course of oral immunotherapy in which they built up tolerance by swallowing tiny but escalating doses of milk protein in the form of powder mixed with water.

Four months after stopping treatment, five of the 15 continue to drink at least two 8-ounce glasses of milk a day, says Satya Narisety, MD, of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

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