Subcutaneous Allergen Immunotherapy for Allergic Disease

Examining Efficacy, Safety and Cost-Effectiveness of Current and Novel Formulations

Linda Cox; Moisés Calderón; Oliver Pfaar


Immunotherapy. 2012;4(6):601-616. 

In This Article


Subcutaneous allergen immunotherapy has been shown in numerous clinical trials, systematic reviews and meta-analyses to be effective in reducing the clinical symptoms associated with asthma, AR/rhinoconjunctivitis and venom hypersensitivity. There is emerging evidence that it may be effective in other allergic conditions such as atopic dermatitis and venom sting large local reactions. Its benefits may persist long after treatment discontinuation and include prevention of allergic disease progression. Overall, if administered in an appropriate setting, SCIT is safe and well tolerated. However, systemic allergic reactions may occur and these have the potential to be life threatening. Studies suggest the incidence of SCIT SRs is approximately 0.1% of injections, with most being of a grade 1 severity. The financial burden of allergic disease to both society and patients is considerable. Studies comparing healthcare costs between SCIT and pharmacotherapy alone have demonstrated that SCIT may be associated with significant cost savings (as high as 80%). Only a small percentage of allergic patients subscribe to SCIT, probably due to the inconvenience and time involved in receiving this treatment in a medical facility. Investigations aimed at developing safer and more effective SCIT therapies have demonstrated promising results, which indicate that, in the near future, a single or ultrashort course SCIT vaccine may provide a 'cure' or long-term remission for allergic disease.


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.