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Allergology Review

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  Authority of Polish Society of Allergology

vol 19. no 4. December 2014  

 Original articles
Safety and efficacy of subcutaneous immunotherapy with pollen allergens in patients over 60 years of age
Andrzej Bożek, Krzysztof Kołodziejczyk, Jerzy Jarząb

Introduction. Specific immunotherapy (SIT) in elderly patients remains
controversial due to the lack of clinical studies in this group of patients.
Aim. The aim of this study was to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of
SIT in patients over 60 with allergy to grass or tree pollens as compared
to young subjects.
Materials and methods. The study involved 116 patients, mean age
63.4±3.5, with allergic intermittent rhinitis who met the eligibility criteria
for SIT to grass or trees. The control group consisted of 139 young
patients, 19.3±5.3 years. All subjects underwent a three-year, perennial
course of SIT by the use of Allergovit containing allergens of grasses or
trees. The study evaluated the clinical symptoms as well as the use of
rescue drugs during the pollen season. SIT-related adverse reactions were
also monitored.
Results. After a 3-year SIT course, a statistically significant reduction of
nasal symptoms during the pollen season was noticed both in elderly
and younger patients with allergy to grass pollen: a decrease from
3.156±0.122 to 1.251±0.333 score (p<0.05) and from 4.224±0.348 to
1.090±0.450 (p<0.05), respectively. A similar significant improvement
was achieved in both groups after SIT to tree pollens, from 3.371±0.435
to 1.545±0.442 (p<0.05) in the elderly, and from 4.022±0.331 to
1.602±0.472 in the young subjects (p<0.05). A comparable reduction in
the use of symptomatic drugs was also noticed in both groups. Among
5423 injections in the older group, only 348 (6.4%) local reactions and no
systemic reactions were recorded. In the younger group, 459 (8.3%) local
and 2 systemic adverse reactions were observed per total 5521 injections.
Conclusions. In the elderly group, SIT seems to be as effective and safe
as in the younger patients.

keywords: alergiczny nieżyt nosa, immunoterapia swoista, allergic rhinitis, specific immunotherapy

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