What is venom immunotherapy?

What is venom immunotherapy?

Treatment Overview To treat allergies to insect stings, very small amounts of the venom of the insect or insects are used. The treatment also is sometimes called venom immunotherapy (VIT). Immunotherapy is available to treat allergies to stings from: Honeybees.

When should I start venom immunotherapy?

Who should have venom immunotherapy? The indications for venom immunotherapy are a history of previous anaphylaxis to a sting and a positive allergy skin (venom-specific IgE). Children with a recent history of anaphylaxis and a positive skin test have a 30% to 70% chance of a generalized reaction to a subsequent sting.

How does bee venom immunotherapy work?

It involves the administration of increasing doses of allergen (the substance you are allergic to) over a prolonged period of time, to help teach your immune system to tolerate it and not ‘fight’ it. Wasp and bee venom immunotherapy has been shown to lower the risk of severe reactions to wasp and bee stings.

What is Hymenoptera venom?

All Hymenoptera venoms contain low-molecular-weight substances, such as biogenic amines, phospholipids, amino acids, and carbohydrates, as well as peptides, such as melittin, apamin, and kinins, which contribute to the toxic effect but which—except melittin—are probably irrelevant with regard to allergies.

Does immunotherapy work for bee stings?

Thankfully, people allergic to bee stings have an option. Venom immunotherapy is the closest thing to a cure and is 97% effective in preventing future allergic reactions. Patients will receive regular injections with small amounts of insect venom increasing in dosage over 3-5 years.

What is honey bee venom?

Bee venom is a colorless, acidic liquid. Bees excrete it through their stingers into a target when they feel threatened. It contains both anti-inflammatory and inflammatory compounds, including enzymes, sugars, minerals, and amino acids ( 1 ). Bee venom also contains the peptides apamin and adolapin.

How do you test for bee allergy?


  1. Skin test. During skin testing, a small amount of allergen extract (in this case, bee venom) is injected into the skin of your arm or upper back.
  2. Allergy blood test. A blood test can measure your immune system’s response to bee venom by measuring the amount of allergy-causing antibodies in your bloodstream.

Will steroids help bee stings?

Extreme local reactions to stings can be treated with steroids. If your child is stung in the mouth or throat and the swelling restricts breathing, they should be quickly taken to the closest emergency department. Steroids may also be given to provide relief when local swelling is particularly uncomfortable.

What is a risk factor for severe anaphylaxis?

Major risk factors for severe anaphylaxis include old age, male sex, and preexisting medical conditions such as mast cell disorders, cardiovascular diseases, and uncontrolled asthma.

Do allergy shots for bee stings work?