LODZ, Poland, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- Polish researchers say long-term control of allergic asthma can occur after only three years of allergy shots -- not the recommended three to five years.
Dr. Iwona Stelmach of the Medical University of Lodz in Poland and colleagues said immunotherapy, or allergy shots, can alter the progression of allergic disease. Treatment, Stelmach said, alleviates patients of symptoms, while preventing asthma and the development of other allergies.
"The recommended duration of immunotherapy for long-term effectiveness has been three to five years," Stelmach, the study's lead author, said in a statement. "Our research shows that three years is an adequate duration for the treatment of childhood asthma associated with house dust mites. An additional two years adds no clinical benefit."
Dr. James Sublett, an allergist who is chairman of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology's Indoor Environment Committee, said not only does the shorter period of shots provide long-term therapeutic benefits for both children and adults, it can reduce total healthcare costs by 33 percent to 41 percent.
"It has long been observed that the effectiveness of allergy shots continue long after treatment has been completed," Sublett said. "
The findings were published in the of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.