General Allergy News: November 2006 Archives

Simple steps minimize yuletide allergies

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xmasAllergy sufferers cringe during one of the most celebrated traditions of the winter holiday season - trimming the Christmas tree.

Allergists say itchy noses, scratchy eyes and sneezing during the holidays can have more to do with what is on a holiday tree than the tree itself.

While festive fir trees have thick, waxy pollen, studies have never shown them to cause significant allergic reactions. The real culprits behind holiday sniffles are Christmas tree dust and mold, and the chemicals sometimes sprayed on fresh trees to control pests or reduce needle shedding, says Dan Atkins, a pediatric allergist at National Jewish Medical and Research Center.

Diet might help to prevent allergy and asthma

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breast feedingReport suggests changes in European diets over the past 20-40 years may have contributed to the increased incidence of allergic diseases in both children and adults seen over this period.

The publication from the Global Allergy and Asthma European Network (GA²LEN) provides new insights into the role that diet may play in the development of allergies, especially in children.

The prevalence of allergic diseases has increased dramatically over the past few decades, especially in children. One child in three is allergic today and one in two people in Europe are likely to be suffering from at least one allergy by 2015.

MedicAlert bracelets free for all elementary students

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medicalert braceletTORONTO -- Elementary school students with serious medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes or severe allergies will have access to a free alert bracelet under a national program being launched on Monday.

Called "No Child Without," the new program run by the Canadian MedicAlert Foundation waives the fees normally associated with subscribing to the service and buying the special bracelet or necklet.

"Parents worry a great deal about how their child will communicate their medical condition in a crisis," Martin Kabat, president of the charitable foundation, said in a statement.

ACAAI: Expect More Generic Corticosteroids in the Future

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generic drugsPHILADELPHIA, Nov. 16 -- With the first generic version of a nasal corticosteroid approved this year, more can be expected, according to a presentation here.

The FDA approved a generic version of Flonase (fluticasone propionate) last February 2006, said Faud M. Baroody, M.D., of the Pritzker School of Medicine in Chicago at a symposium presented in conjunction with the American College of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology meeting here.

The generic drug is manufactured by Roxane Laboratories in Columbus, Ohio. A check by Dr. Baroody at his local pharmacy found that a one-month supply of brand-name Flonase cost $96.99, compared with $77.99 for the generic version.

alternative allergy treatmetnPHILADELPHIA, Nov.15 -- Allergic reactions are among the most common side effects of complementary and alternative therapies, researchers reported here, but that doesn't stop patients with allergies from using them.

More than two-thirds of adult patients may use some form of complementary and alternative medicine, said Leonard Bielory, M.D., director of the Asthma & Allergy Research Center at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

Physicians need to find a way to respect those practices and, indeed, incorporate them into their practices Dr. Bielory said at the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology meeting here.

Swedish firms join to stop allergy

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resistentiaTwo Swedish firms have joined together to make an investigational protein-based allergy drug for Phase III trials.

Contract manufacturer Biovitrum has been asked to undertake process development and clinical trial manufacturing of the biologic drug (RES 08) by its developers, Resistentia.

 

According to Marcus Bosson, CEO of Resistentia, Biovitrum was chosen due to its “vast experience with process development for Phase III biological clinical materials.”

 

ACAAI: Home is Where the Allergies Are

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allergyPHILADELPHIA -- Home is where the heart is, and increasingly, where allergens lie in wait.

For people with allergies and asthma, home sweet home could be masking a festering stew of molds, dust mites, noxious gases, building debris, and other unhealthy substances, suggested speakers at a symposium held at the American College of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology meeting here.

Variables that can affect the severity of allergic rhinitis and asthma among the occupants of a given house included the age and condition of the house, type and condition of heating and cooling systems, humidity, air flow, indoor tobacco use, pets, and hygiene habits of the occupants, said James L. Sublett, M.D., of the University of Louisville School of Medicine.

ACAAI: Rush Immunotherapy Provides Rapid Results Safely

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allergyPHILADELPHIA, Nov. 13 -- Rush immunotherapy can cram into a few days some six to 12 months worth of allergy shots, safely and with a low risk of serious systemic reactions or anaphylaxis, said researchers here.

In separate studies presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology meeting, investigators reported on the use of rapid allergen vaccination, also called rush immunotherapy, for safe, rapid desensitization of patients with allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma, and chronic rhinosinusitis.

 

The technique, although controversial because of its potential for inducing serious systemic reactions or anaphylaxis, can be safely used with proper selection of patients, premedication, and careful introduction of highly diluted antigens over a brief period, reported William Smits, M.D., in private practice in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Role seen for complementary medicine in allergic diseases

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CAMComplementary or alternative medicine (CAM) has increased tremendously in popularity in the United States.

At a symposium held at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), a team of experts discussed the safety and efficacy of CAM for the management of allergic diseases.

"As the United States has reached the 300 million person mark and with the world population approaching 7 billion, only 10 percent and at most to 30 percent of our health care is actually delivered by what we consider conventional or biomedical-oriented practitioners," said Leonard Bielory, MD, professor of medicine, pediatrics and ophthalmology, and director, Asthma & Allergy Research Center at UMDNJ - New Jersey Medical School in Newark.

Treatments exist for women allergic to sex

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sexNEW YORK, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- Breathing difficulties some women have after sexual intercourse could be an allergic reaction, doctors in the United States said.

In extreme cases, doctors said, some women experience difficulty breathing and hives after intercourse, ABCNew.com said. If women have an allergy, symptoms usually are milder -- a reddening and swelling of the vaginal area that disappear within a few hours.

Proteins in the semen are the culprits, ABCNews.com said, and using a condom is the simplest treatment. Also an antihistamine, a vagina-specific allergy medication or injections will help, especially if it is a mild reaction. But sufferers must visit their gynecologists to ensure no other infection is present.

Are you allergic to Sex?

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sexIn most cases, the best way to cope with a typical allergy is to simply steer clear of whatever it is you are allergic to. While this is sometimes inconvenient, it is certainly doable — that is, if you're allergic to penicillin, shellfish, peanuts, or cats.

But what if you are allergic to sex?

Believe it or not, there are women who literally break out whenever they have intercourse. And as most of them will tell you, abstinence is clearly not an acceptable option.

Unlike sufferers of other types of allergies, women who are allergic to sex don't get an "all over" rash. Typically, only the inner and outer vaginal areas get red and really swollen. Unlike when an infection is the culprit, there is no pain, discharge, itching or odor. And unlike most infections, the reaction occurs within minutes of intercourse rather than days later.

Scandal over lethal drug sold as allergy remedy

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corhydronPoland’s Health Minister Zbigniew Religa put himself at the disposal of the Prime Minister after a scandal with wrongly labelled allergy injections.

Instead of hydrocortisone, sold under the name of “corhydron” and generally available from prescription pharmacists, ampoules manufactured in Jelenia Góra were released containing a drug used in surgery to relax muscles. Wrongly used, the drug can be lethal. The labelling mistake was first discovered a month ago, when two women collapsed after being treated with the medicine, although other reports say that the first incident with the drug was recorded as early as in June.

A Polish daily wrote about the scandal, as the manufacturer and the Health Ministry failed to inform of the danger.

Asthma friendly award

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schoolThe Montclair School District has taken many steps to manage asthma in its school settings, and for its efforts, it last week received a statewide award.

Montclair’s 11 public schools were among 135 New Jersey schools serving more than 70,600 students that were presented the “Asthma Friendly School Award” from the Pediatric/Adult Asthma Coalition of New Jersey.

The school district was presented with the award on Nov. 2 at the Doubletree Hotel in Newark International Airport.

“It was kind of a surprise,” said Superintendent of Schools Frank Alvarez. “We knew there was a set of six criteria that the schools needed to meet. Our goal was to have every school achieve that certification, so we’ve been working on this since last spring.”

Finding relief from allergies

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allergy shotThe prospect of weekly shots might send most kids running for the most convenient hiding place, but not 9-year-old Molly McGrady, who bounded into St. John's Allergy and Asthma Clinic with a smile on a recent Thursday afternoon.

"It doesn't hurt," Molly said of the weekly allergy shots she has been receiving for about a year. "I kind of look forward to it because my mom usually gives me a piece of candy afterwards."

The long-term benefits will be even sweeter, said her doctor, Gregory Lux.

"Allergy shots are like a vaccination program," said Lux, a board-certified allergist working at St. John's allergy clinic. "It desensitizes you to things that cause your allergies."

 

Inspire, FAES developing new allergy drug

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allergyDURHAM, N.C., Nov. 1 (UPI) -- Inspire and FAES Farma said Wednesday they have signed a licensing deal on a new oral antihistamine for the U.S. and Canada markets.

The compound at the center of the development deal is bilastine, currently in phase 3 studies for the prevention of allergic rhinitis.

Under the terms of the agreement, Inspire has exclusive rights to develop and commercialize oral formulations of bilastine in the United States and Canada, as well as the exclusive right to develop and commercialize the ocular formulation in various markets worldwide.

Doctor Talks About Effect Of Soy Oil On Allergy Sufferers

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soy allergyDES MOINES, Iowa -- KFC announced Monday it will start cooking with zero trans-fat soybean oil next spring.The changeover is good news for most consumers, but how will it affect people with soybean allergies?"It's a more common one. It's not as common as milk or peanut (allergies)," said allergist Dr. James Wille.

Wille said a relatively small percentage of us are significantly allergic to soy and he can understand why those people don't like the KFC cooking oil switch."I would be a little concerned that this is a new product and I would certainly go cautiously or at least talk with your doctor," Wille said.