Treatment May Leave You Allergy-Free


allergyRagweed allergies makes millions of us miserable with symptoms from red, watery eyes to excessive sneezing. But now a new treatment could soon leave you allergy-free.

It's ragweed season again and oncology nurse Kim Brandt is just one of 36 million Americans allergic to the wild plant.

Kim Brandt, RN, ragweed allergy sufferer: "I would be sneezing, running, watery eyes, itchy nose and nasal congestion."

Sick of the symptoms, Kim joined a study on a new approach called rush immunotherapy.

Mark Moss, M.D., allergist: "Rush immunotherapy is a way of administering immunotherapy that condenses a large series of shots in a short period of time."

Immunotherapy builds resistance to allergens. With standard therapy, patients need weekly shots for up to six months. With rush immunotherapy, it's done much faster.

Dr. Mark Moss: "This could be, theoretically, could be done in about two to three weeks."

But it's risky. Patients have severe allergic reactions one-third of the time. In this new study, patients were pre-medicated with the anti-allergy drug Omalizumab before starting the immunotherapy.

Dr. Mark Moss: "They had a five-times lower chance of having a reaction compared to the group that received the rush immunotherapy alone."

That pre-treatment also led to better symptom relief. Kim got the treatment three years ago.

Kim Brandt: "I have had three consecutive years of no symptoms. So if you ask me what it has done for me, it has improved my quality of life 100 percent."

And ready to get back to what she does best.

Rush immunotherapy is already an available treatment, but the pre-treatment with this new drug has not yet been FDA approved. Other ongoing studies are also looking at using the drug to treat dust mites and pet, tree and grass allergies, as well.

source ABC7