Cluster Therapy Specialist

North Texas Allergy and Asthma Associates

Allergists located in Dallas, TX & Plano, TX

The team at North Texas Allergy & Asthma Associates uses cluster therapy to help patients overcome a sensitivity to inhalant allergens, so they can feel their best. Call or schedule an appointment online to learn how this form of immunotherapy is used at any of their North Texas locations: Texas Health Dallas, Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano, and Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas.

Cluster Therapy Q & A

What is cluster immunotherapy?

Cluster immunotherapy, or CIT, is an alternative way of doing allergy shots that helps patients reach their effective dose in a few weeks rather than the 3-6 months it takes to get to the same level with standard immunotherapy. When you get cluster immunotherapy, you’ll get 2-4 shots given 30 minutes apart, with each shot containing a higher dose of allergen.

You’ll have the same therapy one day each week until you reach your maintenance dose. For most patients it only takes 1-2 months, compared to 3-6 months for standard immunotherapy. After that, you’ll follow a maintenance schedule established by the doctors at North Texas Allergy & Asthma Associates.

What allergies can be treated with cluster immunotherapy?

Using cluster therapy to quickly reach a maintenance dose — which means you’ve received enough immunotherapy to prevent or reduce allergic reactions — may be recommended for patients with allergic asthma and others who are allergic to airborne allergens. This group includes allergies to dust mites, mold, pet dander, and pollens from grasses, trees, and weeds.

Cluster immunotherapy may also be considered for patients who are allergic to insect venom, especially if they’re highly sensitive to insect bites and stings, such as bee stings and ant bites. Before using cluster therapy for other types of allergies, the doctors must consider each person’s individual health and medical history to determine whether they’re good candidates for accelerated immunotherapy.

Is cluster immunotherapy safe?

Cluster immunotherapy is a safe procedure, but since you’ll get about a month’s worth of immunotherapy injections in just one visit, there’s a higher chance of having a reaction to the shots. To prevent or reduce your risk of a reaction, you’ll take medications such as antihistamines or corticosteroids in the days prior to your scheduled immunotherapy.

Patients also stay in the office during and after cluster immunotherapy so that the doctors and staff can closely monitor their health and provide immediate treatment in the event of a reaction. When you come in for each cluster immunotherapy appointment, be prepared to spend at least half a day at North Texas Allergy & Asthma Associates.

What to do before your visit:

Premedication 1 day prior and the morning of the procedure.

•Histamine (H1) Blocker: Options include Claritin 10 mg, or Zyrtec 10 mg, or Allegra 180 mg once a day

•Montelukast (Singulair) 10 mg once a day

•Take both pills at the same time each day if possible

Medication Time:

Time recommendedDay 1  Day before CIT Premedication TimeDay 2 Day OF CIT Premedication Time
8:00 AM  

How long will it take:

•The CIT protocol takes 1 - 2 hours in the clinic.

•There is a 30 min wait in between injections and a 1 hour wait after the last injection.

•You can do CIT up to 2 times a week, with 48 hours in between each CIT

What to bring on the day of the visit:

•Books, activities, laptop, etc.

•Wear a half sleeve or sleeveless shirt

•Have a light breakfast the morning of the procedure

•Have a light snack before the procedure

What we will do the day of the visit

•Make sure your asthma, if present, is under good control.

•Obtain baseline spirometry - FEV1 above 70%

•No B-blockers, ACEI, or evidence of cardiovascular disease

•Ensure we have Informed consent in chart

What happens after CIT:

•For most patients, the final dose received during CIT will be repeated for the first post-CIT injection the week after.

•For patients who experienced a systemic reaction during CIT, the first post-CIT dose will be lowered.

•Following CIT, the regular IT schedule will be followed going forward

•Generally if you tolerate the whole protocol you will continue on weekly injections for another 6-8 weeks, then we can proceed to every other week shots for 6 weeks, followed by every 3 week shots for 6 weeks then monthly

Insurances Accepted

View list of insurances, Please call the office if you have any questions.

Aetna
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
Cigna
Coventry
Health Net
Humana
Medicare B
Multiplan
Tricare
UMR
United Healthcare
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