Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Allergy to Insect Stings Treatment

Treatment for allergic reactions depends on the type of reaction and the severity of the symptoms. A person with allergies must learn how to avoid substances that trigger the illness. Severe allergic reactions require immediate care in an emergency room, while mild allergic reactions may be treated at home. Treatment for severe allergic reactions includes epinephrine injections, antihistamines, and corticosteroid medications, given through an intravenous (IV) line. Treatment for a mild allergic reaction includes oral antihistamines, corticosteroid medications, and additional medications that reduce the symptoms of allergic reactions. In most cases, the symptoms of allergic reactions improve greatly over 2-3 days of therapy.

Immunotherapy or allergy shots, train the body to tolerate the substance that triggers an allergic reaction. This may help reduce the severity of the symptoms when a person is exposed to the trigger.

Treatment for allergic reactions may include:

For more information:

Allergy to Insect Stings Immunotherapy

Allergy Immunotherapy
Immunotherapy is a term used for a series of allergy shots, which are meant to reduce the sensitivity to an allergen. This treatment involves injecting tiny amounts of the allergen under the skin.

The injections are performed over several months. The amount of allergen is increased slightly for each additional injection. Over time, the immune system adjusts to higher and higher levels of the allergen: the shots train the immune system not to overreact to exposure to the allergen.

Initial treatment requires 1 or 2 injection per week, for 3 to 6 months, followed by a maintenance injection every 2 to 4 weeks for another 3 to 5 years. Immunotherapy can improve symptoms in about 80 percent of people with allergies.

Allergy to Insect Stings Questions For Doctor

The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of allergic reactions.

Questions to ask before treatment:

  • What are my treatment options?
  • What are the risks associated with treatment?
  • What are the complications I should watch for?
  • How long will I be on medication?
  • What are the potential side effects of my medication?
  • Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
  • Should I take my medication with food?

Questions to ask after treatment:
  • Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
  • Do I need to change my diet?
  • What else can I do to reduce my risk for allergies?
  • How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
  • What local support and other resources are available?

Allergy to Insect Stings Specialist

Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat allergic reactions:

Continue to Allergy to Insect Stings Home Care

Last Updated: Jun 3, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Allergy to Insect Stings References
  1. Arshad SH. Primary prevention of asthma and allergy. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2005 Jul;116(1):3-14. [15990764]
  2. Atkinson TP, Kaliner MA: Anaphylaxis. Med Clin North Am 1992 Jul; 76(4): 841-55. [1614236]
  3. Busse WW: Mechanisms and advances in allergic diseases. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2000 Jun; 105(6 Pt 2): S593-8. [10856163]
  4. Nimmagadda SR, Evans R 3rd: Allergy: etiology and epidemiology. Pediatr Rev 1999 Apr; 20(4): 111-5. [10208083]
  5. Reisman RE: Insect stings. N Engl J Med 1994 Aug 25; 331(8): 523-7. [8041420]
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