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Ann Allergy. 1994 Nov;73(5):423-8.

Rapid venom immunotherapy is safe for routine use in the treatment of patients with Hymenoptera anaphylaxis.

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Department of Medicine, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Ohio.



Rapid venom immunotherapy regimens have been developed to provide safe protection to individuals who have experienced Hymenoptera anaphylaxis by administering greater than 50 micrograms of venom over two to three hours on treatment day 1. A rapid venom immunotherapy protocol which consisted of administration of a cumulative dose of 58.55 micrograms of each venom on treatment day 1 followed by an accelerated build-up over 3 weeks to a final maintenance dose of 100 micrograms per venom was developed by our group in 1984.


We report our 10-year cumulative experience with this rapid venom immunotherapy regimen.


Seventy-seven venom-allergic patients received a cumulative dose of 58.55 micrograms per venom on treatment day 1 in an ambulatory care setting. Rapid venom immunotherapy was assessed for safety. A cost analysis was performed to compare rapid venom immunotherapy to a modified rush immunotherapy regimen.


Four patients (5.2%), experienced mild systemic reactions consisting of diffuse urticaria on day 1. Treatment was otherwise well tolerated. Resting events occurred in 21 patients, a mean number of 12 months (range: 3 days to 48 months) after treatment, without systemic reactions.


This experience confirms that rapid venom immunotherapy is safe to administer in an ambulatory setting and should be considered especially for patients during the stinging insect season when rapid protection is required.

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