“Rush SLIT” Desensitization

A useful non-medication treatment method for allergy symptom relief and protection


Rush SLIT is a treatment that pushes the initial dose advancement phase faster than in the long-term SLIT method. The main advantage of choosing rush SLIT for a particular allergen is likely achieving symptom relief, a reduction in medication use, and protection from that allergen’s exposures earlier, and this is all accomplished by attempting allergen desensitization. The desensitization process creates a useful state of temporary tolerance to an allergen, and it can be put in place for just when you need it most (like ragweed desensitization in time for ragweed season) or can be maintained long-term with continued treatment. When a desensitization treatment is stopped, your immune system typically returns to being allergic to that allergen as the desensitized state comes undone.

Allergenuity Health offers customizable short-term rush SLIT desensitization treatments for seasonal allergens. We also consider other potential uses for rush SLIT when appropriate. A combination of an underlying long-term SLIT regimen with additional short-term seasonal rush SLIT treatments as needed can offer optimal results to many people and significantly reduce medication use. For those with many allergies and any chronic inflammatory conditions, rush SLIT alone would likely not bea great option, but for some individuals with only a small number of allergies, rush SLIT alone could be very useful.

Our rush SLIT treatments are generally done with only a single or very small number of allergens to minimize risk of overwhelming and activating the immune system, but it is important to realize that there is still an increased risk of reacting to a rush SLIT dose during the buildup phase compared with the slower buildup phase in long-term SLIT. Since the method of our rush immunotherapy process remains sublingual allergen drops in the mouth (rather than injected allergen or swallowed allergen), any reactions that do occur are typically much less severe than with other forms of rush immunotherapy.

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Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT) is an immune system training regimen and therefore can be used in different ways to influence different types of changes in the immune system

When the immune system is exposed to rapidly increasing amounts of allergen (especially a single allergen) such as with a rush SLIT procedure, it receives a very different type of message than when it is exposed frequently and persistently to gradually increasing amounts of allergen(s) over longer periods of time such as with long-term SLIT.

A short-term single-allergen rush SLIT treatment can provide symptom relief towards a specific allergen earlier, which can be very useful in certain cases. However, it does not appear to create the same degree or types of core immune system changes as a multi-allergen long-term SLIT approach, and many of the immune system changes that occur with a short-term rush SLIT treatment revert back shortly after treatment is completed. We can help advise you about the potential risks and benefits of rush SLIT in your specific situation after your initial evaluation.

Rush SLIT typically results in desensitization – a useful temporary tolerance that provides early symptom relief and some protection to allergen exposures while on treatment

Desensitization is a medical term which indicates a procedure that changes a person’s immune response to an allergen resulting in a temporary tolerance that lasts while the treatment is maintained. Despite typically maintaining the desensitization with large doses of the allergen, the initial phase of the desensitization procedure signals the immune system differently than when the body is simply overwhelmed by a large allergen exposure (which activates allergy cells). Instead, the desensitization process renders allergy cells temporarily inactive or in a regenerative state due to the particular signaling pattern used, and this state is maintained by continued constant exposure to a certain amount of the allergen.

Desensitization procedures are most commonly done to allow someone with a drug allergy to be able to take the medication safely if they really need it for treatment of a health condition. The process involves frequent doses of rapidly increasing amounts of the drug up until the desired dose (or a reaction occurs and the process is stopped) and then maintaining constant exposure to the drug at that desired dose to keep the allergy cells in the desensitized state until the patient’s medical treatment with the drug is completed. Once the desensitization treatment is complete, the patient’s allergic reactivity to the drug generally returns over short period of time, which is why this is called temporary tolerance.

These desensitization principles can be extrapolated beyond drug desensitization to be used for other types of allergies.

Rush SLIT is often done with only one or a small number of allergens in order to minimize your risk of reacting

The up-dosing in rush SLIT reaches higher doses sooner than a long-term SLIT treatment and therefore has a higher risk of causing you to have a reaction if your immune system is overwhelmed by the treatment. In some people, rush SLIT will not initially be an option due to health or environmental conditions already overwhelming their immune system or suggesting that it could be easily overwhelmed with an additional stressor. In those individuals, we can work on improving those health and environmental conditions first such that once the immune system is no longer overwhelmed, rush SLIT treatments will be an option. Conversely, in some individuals with a calm enough immune system at the time, using a rush SLIT procedure to begin a multi-allergen long-term SLIT treatment program may be appropriate and safe, and can combine some of the different benefits of each method.

Allergenuity Health offers customizable short-term Rush SLIT Desensitization for seasonal allergens – a treatment that can provide additional allergy symptom relief and reduce your need for medications

Seasonal allergen rush SLIT is most often used in addition to a long-term sublingual immunotherapy program due to the complementary effects of the two treatments together including an earlier reduction in medication use. For some patient situations, seasonal rush SLIT desensitization could be a great stand-alone treatment.

For seasonal allergens, SLIT desensitization performed prior to your problematic season can put your immune system in a handy state of temporary tolerance right when you need it. This can help you cut down on your medication use, or provide additional symptom relief if you have not been able to control your symptoms enough with medication use. It can be used for one or multiple seasons each year.

If you have tried one of the FDA approved SLIT tablets for this type of treatment and found them to be too strong, our customizable method of rush SLIT dosing will offer you a safer and more tolerable option.

Allergenuity Health offers additional Rush SLIT treatment variations designed specifically for your situation if appropriate and on a case by case basis

We look forward to creating a full treatment plan that works as best as possible for you or your child. If there is a rush SLIT use that could potentially provide you with additional benefit or fit your goals, we will discuss its pros and cons with you. Though we primarily offer rush SLIT treatments for seasonal allergens, there are some instances in which designing a rush SLIT treatment with other types of allergens could be safe and appropriate.

For additional information on SLIT and many other topics, please see our FAQs

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