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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1994 Oct;94(4):662-5.

The appropriate use of skin testing and allergen immunotherapy in young children.

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Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI 48202.


Immunotherapy is clearly effective in the treatment of allergic rhinitis and Hymenoptera sensitivity and probably effective in the treatment of asthma. Few studies evaluate the risks and benefits of immunotherapy in young children. Current evidence suggests that young children are at increased risk for systemic reactions from immunotherapy. Furthermore, immunotherapy or adverse reactions resulting from immunotherapy may result in significant psychologic problems. The potential risks of immunotherapy would be justified if immunotherapy were demonstrated to be safe and additive to other therapies. Immunotherapy might be particularly effective in treating or helping to prevent house dust mite- or cockroach-associated asthma. Until the efficacy of immunotherapy is demonstrated in young children, we agree with the European Academy of Allergology and Clinical Immunology position that immunotherapy in young children is relatively contraindicated.

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