Cluster Desensitization

A faster way to start feeling better with allergy injections.

Purpose of Cluster Immunotherapy:

In Cluster Immunotherapy, multiple allergy injections are administered over a single day in order to build-up your tolerance to the things that you are allergic to more quickly. After the one day Cluster procedure, you will receive injections once per week until you reach a maintenance dose. Most patients are able to reach their maintenance dose in a few months, which is in contrast to conventional immunotherapy, which requires 4-7 months of weekly injections to reach the maintenance dose. Most people begin to notice more significant benefits in decreased symptoms once they reach higher doses of allergy injections. Therefore, the advantage to Cluster Immunotherapy is to decrease the number of weekly injections and to begin feeling better more quickly.

Are there any contraindications to Cluster?

If you have asthma, and it is not well-controlled, we will have to reschedule the procedure. Also, if you are on beta-blocker medications such as those used in some blood pressure medications and eye drops used for glaucoma, you will likely not be able to proceed with Cluster immunotherapy. The doctor will carefully review your medical history and all medications prior to scheduling the procedure.

Risk to Cluster Immunotherapy:

With the pre-medication that is recommended, the risk of experiencing an allergic reaction is reduced substantially, however, this risk is probably still higher than conventional immunotherapy. For this reason, you will be carefully monitored for signs of a reaction throughout your procedure.

Side effects from the pre-medication drugs are infrequent, however, prednisone may cause increased appetite, fluid retention, and mood changes. Reactions to the immunotherapy itself include both local and generalized reactions.

Local reactions such as swelling, itching, or redness at the site of the injection are common, and typically subside in about a day. More significant allergic reactions can occur at anytime, but they are more common during the “buildup phase”. Most generalized reactions are mild and may consist of any or all of the following symptoms: swelling and redness at the injection site, itchy eyes, nose, or throat, nasal congestion, runny nose, tightness in the throat or chest, coughing, wheezing, hives, or generalized itching. Rarely, more severe reactions can occur which lead to shock, severe shortness of breath, and even death. Because of these risks, it is advised that you remain in our office throughout the required observation period so that we may treat any allergic reactions promptly in order to minimize these risks.

The Cluster Immunotherapy procedure is an optional one.

You should confirm your benefits with your insurance company prior to beginning immunotherapy. The decision to choose Cluster vs.conventional immunotherapy is totally voluntary. If at anytime you decide you do not wish to proceed with the Cluster Immunotherapy, you may continue to receive immunotherapy on a conventional schedule. We offer both conventional and Cluster procedures in this office.

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