Efficacy of Allergen Immunotherapy in Allergic Asthma

HealthDay News — Administration of allergen immunotherapy (AIT) in patients with allergic asthma leads to lower short-term symptom and medication scores, according to a review published online in Allergy.

Sangeeta Dhami, MBBS, from Evidence-Based Health Care in Edinburgh, UK, and colleagues performed a systematic review to examine evidence on the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, and safety of AIT. Data were reviewed from 98 studies.

The researchers observed a reduction in short-term symptom and medication scores, with evidence found for publication bias. No reduction was seen in short-term combined medication and symptom scores; a beneficial long-term effect was seen in 1 study. Subcutaneous immunotherapy correlated with improved quality of life and reduction in allergen-specific airway hyperreactivity (AHR); this was not seen for sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT). No consistent effects were seen on asthma control, exacerbations, lung function, or non-specific AHR. There was a modest increase in the risk of adverse events with AIT. Evidence on cost-effectiveness was mainly available for SLIT, which was likely to be cost-effective.

“AIT can achieve substantial reductions in short-term symptom and medication scores in allergic asthma,” the authors write. “More data are needed in relation to secondary outcomes, longer-term effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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Dhami S, Kakorou A, Asamoah F, et al. Allergen immunotherapy for allergic asthma: a systematic review and meta-analysis [published online May 19, 2017]. Allergy. doi:10.1111/all.13208