New clinical practice guideline offers evidence-based recommendations for managing inhalant allergies with immunotherapy

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The American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery Foundation published the Clinical Practice Guideline: Immunotherapy for Inhalant Allergy today in Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery. This clinical practice guideline identifies quality improvement opportunities and provides clinicians trustworthy, evidence-based recommendations on the management of inhalant allergies with immunotherapy, supporting them to provide enhanced care to patients aged 5 years and older who are experiencing symptoms from inhalant allergies.

More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies annually. Despite the widespread use of allergen immunotherapy (AIT), there are multiple clinical dilemmas that exist, including patient selection, modes of immunotherapy delivery, and ongoing needs to evaluate and ensure the safety and efficacy of AIT."

Richard K. Gurgel, MD, MSCI, Chair of the AAO-HNSF Guideline Development Group (GDG)

Allergen Immunotherapy is a type of treatment used to reduce allergy symptoms and improve quality of life. This is done by giving regular and repeated doses of an allergen (a substance that causes allergies) or allergens. Examples of allergens that can be inhaled include pet dander, pollen, ragweed, grass, and dust mites. By taking gradually increasing doses, the immune system builds up a tolerance and becomes less sensitive. Unlike other treatments, AIT can lead to lasting benefits even after stopping. This can reduce the need to take other medications, which provides cost savings and convenience. Additionally, there is evidence that AIT can reduce asthma symptoms and prevent asthma and new allergies from developing.

As patients, families, and caregivers consider immunotherapy as a treatment option, this guideline assists clinicians with an evidence-based framework for assessing patients' care needs to provide immunotherapy as a treatment option if needed. The guideline provided 12 evidenced-based Key Action Statements (KAS) to guide clinicians in treating patients experiencing symptoms from inhalant allergies. The full KASs and the guideline with other supplemental materials can be found here: www.entnet.org/AITCPG

"The guideline development group used the AAO-HNSF rigorous, evidenced-based methodology to create high-quality recommendations on immunotherapy. We hope this CPG will be a valuable resource to optimize patient care and reduce unnecessary and costly variation in AIT management," Dr. Gurgel remarked.

The GDG consisted of 17 panel members representing experts in otolaryngology and allergy or members who have expertise in clinical practice guideline development and a consumer/patient representative. Panel members came from a variety of practice settings, training backgrounds, and stages of training.

Source:
Journal reference:

Gurgel, R. K., et al. (2024). Clinical Practice Guideline: Immunotherapy for Inhalant Allergy. Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. doi.org/10.1002/ohn.648.

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