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 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.
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.
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.
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
|Time recommended||Day 1 Day before CIT Premedication Time||Day 2 Day OF CIT Premedication Time|
•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
•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
•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
•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
View list of insurances, Please call the office if you have any questions.
"Fantastic staff, expert doctors, incredibly well organized, efficient, engaging, and compassionate staff, including all administrative staff with whom I've interacted."
"I just finished my allergy shots here and am SO much better. Everyone is very friendly and professional and scheduling is very flexible. 100% recommended."
"The doctors and nurses always greet you with a smile and a hello. I have and always will refer my family and friends."
"Dr. Sikka was very caring thorough with me. Yes, I would definitely recommend him to my friends & family."
"The office staff was kind and courteous, they also took the time to explain my insurance coverage and make sure that I knew the cost and insurance coverage."
"Their allergy test are much better than I have had in the past - with Dr Safdarian going the extra mile to test me to verify some items the default test did not find..."
"Greeted by staff when i arrived. Reasonable wait time with several paitents in lobby. Offices clean & staff knowledgeable."
"Dr. Safdarian was extremely detailed and took her time during my first appointment where I was getting tested to see what I was allergic to."
"She is really conscientious about my health care and takes the time to get plenty of information from me and welcomes my questions."
"There is adequate staff at NTAAA, whereas many doctors today are trying to save money by cutting staff. The staff at NTAAA is very good, competent, and friendly..."
"This is one of the best patient experience I have had. Considering that allergy shots are a multi year commitment - they make it easy by having all day shot hours."
"The people at North Texas Allergy and Asthma are always friendly, courteous, and professional."
"Dr. Sikka has made my quality of life so much better! He never pressured me into taking allergy shots and gladly answered all my questions..."
"I couldn't have been happier to find Dr. Sikka. Extremely competent, well educated, very attentive in listening and observing his patient."