Biologic treatments are an exciting development on the cutting edge of medical treatment for allergies and other chronic conditions.
Usually administered as an injection, biologic treatments use monoclonal antibodies to target very specific parts of the immune system that cause inflammation. Unlike steroid medications, which impact the entire immune system and often come with undesirable side effects, biologic treatments pinpoint the exact immune function at work and, in effect, dial down its reactivity.
Who are biologic treatments recommended for?
Biologic treatments are effective at treating chronic allergic conditions such as asthma, eczema, hives (also called urticaria), nasal polyps and eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE).
Although these conditions can often be managed with inhaled, topical or ingested steroid medications, those traditional treatments don’t work well for everyone, and some people may have significant side effects from their steroid treatments. For these people, biologic treatments can greatly reduce future flare-ups, as well as reduce reliance on daily or fast-acting medications.
What does a typical biologic treatment regimen look like?
Once you and your allergist agree to try biologic treatment, you will receive your first injection in the Hudson Allergy office. A nurse will administer the shot, and then you’ll wait in the office for 20-30 minutes to ensure there is no negative reaction.
Many of the biologic treatments available today can be safely self-administered at home. At your initial visit, your medical team will walk you through how to give yourself the injection. You can also bring a partner or loved one to learn how to administer your future shots.
Most patients will administer an injection every two to four weeks. The length of treatment varies from one person to the next. Biologic treatments are designed to be used long-term, but it’s important to stay in touch with your allergist to determine if the treatment is working and whether it is providing a significant benefit to your life, as compared to your previous treatment options.
At Hudson Allergy, our ultimate goal is to find the best long-term solution for each patient — that means identifying the treatment that’s best for each specific condition, with the fewest side effects and the biggest positive impact on the patient’s everyday life.