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A review of clinical efficacy, safety, new developments and adherence to allergen-specific immunotherapy in patients with allergic rhinitis caused by allergy to ragweed pollen (Ambrosia artemisiifolia)

Authors Turkalj M, Banic I, Anzic SA

Received 10 June 2016

Accepted for publication 31 August 2016

Published 14 February 2017 Volume 2017:11 Pages 247—257


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 5

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Mirjana Turkalj,1,2 Ivana Banic,1 Srdjan Ante Anzic1

1Children’s Hospital Srebrnjak, Zagreb, 2Faculty of Medicine, JJ Strossmayer University of Osijek, Osijek, Croatia

Abstract: Allergic rhinitis is a common health problem in both children and adults. The number of patients allergic to ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) is on the rise throughout Europe, having a significant negative impact on the patients’ and their family’s quality of life. Allergen-specific immunotherapy (AIT) has disease-modifying effects and can induce immune tolerance to allergens. Both subcutaneous immunotherapy and sublingual immunotherapy with ragweed extracts/preparations have clear positive clinical efficacy, especially over pharmacological treatment, even years after the treatment has ended. AIT also has very good safety profiles with extremely rare side effects, and the extracts/preparations used in AIT are commonly well tolerated by patients. However, patient adherence to treatment with AIT seems to be quite low, mostly due to the fact that treatment with AIT is relatively time-demanding and, moreover, due to patients not receiving adequate information and education about the treatment before it starts. AIT is undergoing innovations and improvements in clinical efficacy, safety and patient adherence, especially with new approaches using new adjuvants, recombinant or modified allergens, synthetic peptides, novel routes of administration (epidermal or intralymphatic), and new protocols, which might make AIT more acceptable for a wider range of patients and novel indications. Patient education and support (eg, recall systems) is one of the most important goals for AIT in the future, to further enhance treatment success.

Keywords: allergic rhinitis, allergy, ragweed, allergen-specific immunotherapy, Ambrosia artemisiifolia

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