Venom Immunotherapy for Bee and Insect Stings
People who are allergic to bee stings are recommended to undergo venom desensitization or venom immunotherapy. Before this treatment is carried out, expert allergists will first test which insect(s) you are allergic to. This will enable them to determine which type of allergy shot to give you.
Venom Immunization is available to treat insect stings from:
- Paper Wasps
- Fire Ants
- Honey Bees
- Yellow Jackets
Once they determine the type of insect you are allergic to, you will begin to receive treatment shots once or twice a week. The dosage will slowly increase until you reach a maintenance dose. However, if you have experienced a severe allergic reaction to an insect sting, it is best to talk to your allergist so that they can provide you with the best treatment.
What to Expect After the Treatment?
The injected area will be slightly swollen and itchy for 2-3 days after the treatment. You may place an ice pack and take antihistamines to treat it. If there's a considerable swelling in the area, take an antihistamine 1-2 hours before the procedure to reduce the reaction. Also, expect to feel exhausted 24 hours after the injection and for the next 3 months. According to a study, there are cases of rare severe reactions after the procedure. That's why it's essential to do it in a specialized allergy clinic with a highly trained staff.
Allergy shots for bee and insect stings are safe and work for almost everyone if administered properly. However, it’s important that an allergist administers this treatment because allergy shots may cause anaphylaxis, an acute allergic reaction to an antigen (e.g., a bee sting) to which the body has become hypersensitive. This may cause a life-threatening reaction. To avoid this, proper execution of this treatment from a professional allergist is absolutely necessary.
Dr. Paul Jantzi, a board-certified allergist and immunologist, provides allergy treatments in Texas with office locations in Bastrop, Brenham, College Station, Columbus, Giddings, and La Grange. You can contact him at any of the Brazos Valley Allergy & Asthma Clinics for professional allergy, asthma, and immunology services to patients at six locations throughout the Brazos Valley. We are more than happy to help you prevent life-threatening reactions and reduce your concerns associated with insect stings.