antigen-specific immunotherapy

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antigen-specific immunotherapy

Immunotherapy in which individual antigens are used in gradually increasing concentrations to stimulate an immune response, e.g., against particular allergic diseases or tumors. Synonym: allergen-specific immunotherapy; specific immunotherapy

Patient care

Anyone who has suffered severe allergic reactions to an antigen (such as angioedema or anaphylaxis), should be considered for treatment with antigen-specific immunotherapy. After the administration of the antigen, (as in patients with allergies to the venom of stinging insects), the patient should be closely monitored for evidence of difficulty in breathing, palpitations, urticaria or angioedema, changes in blood pressure, dizziness or faintness, or changes in mental status. Periodic monitoring of vital signs, oximetry, and breath sounds is required to ensure stability. Patients can usually be discharged if they have experienced no untoward effects 30 min after administration. Epinephrine should be available for immediate injection if the patient develops an anaphylactic reaction.

See also: immunotherapy
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