Cat allergies & immunotherapy

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Sara14
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Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 3822
   Posted 11/21/2007 6:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi. I posted this in the UC forum, but thought I would post here as well. Hope that's okay.
 
Has anyone used allergy drops or had allergy shots (immunotherapy)? I just went to a new allergist and they use allergy drops instead of the shots. You put 3 drops under your tongue each day to deliver whatever allergen or combo. of allergens you're allergic to into your body.
 
I have been allergic to cats and dogs for the past 15 years or so, but I love animals and would really like a cat, so I'm interested in trying the drops. I've used singulair, allegra, advair, nasonex, flonase, zyrtec, albuterol and probably a few other meds over the years while I grew up with cats in the house. None of them really worked all that well. They helped, but not enough.
 
I found out I am also mildly allergic to ragweed, dust mites, some type of yeast and a few types of mold according to their skin test. I'll find out my food allergy results (from a blood test) in 2 weeks.
 
Anyone have animal dander or other allergies and had luck with immunotherapy?

23 years old
Diagnosed with UC March 2007
Current inflamation in the rectum
Asacol 4 tablets 3x/day
Rowasa (generic) - as needed for flares
Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri 1/day; Chewable multivitamin; Metamucil; Viactiv (Calcium and Vit. D) for Osteopenia; flaxseed


Red_34
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Date Joined Apr 2004
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   Posted 11/22/2007 7:04 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Sara *waves*  :-) ........I have a friend who has severe multiple allergies including to cats.  She didn't get the drops (never heard of those - must be new?) but she did give the shots a go.  She was on shot for about 2 years to try to raise her immunity.  She has moderate success with her shots and thought she would get a cat.  Know what happened?  She was fine with the cat for about a month then one day she woke up and her eyes were swollen shut and her nose was so congested she said it felt like someone was taking a jack hammer to her nose.  My recommendation is to try the drops or shots and if your allergies lessen - try spending some time around cats that are not your own and see how you react.  But if you do that, keep the Benedryl handy!
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Sara14
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Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 3822
   Posted 11/22/2007 2:03 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Red *waves back* =) Wow...that's scary about your friend...it's weird she would be fine for a month and then all of a sudden the allergies would hit again. Thanks for your advice.

I guess the allergy drops are not FDA-approved yet, which worries me a bit. The allergist didn't tell me that at his office and really didn't tell me much about them at all even though I asked lots of questions. I guess they are used a lot in Europe and other parts of the world, but aren't FDA-approved in the US. The studies I looked at seem to show they work similarly to the shots though, but there are no standardized amounts of antigens to put in each drop mixture since they aren't FDA-regulated. And they charged me $90 for about 3 months worth...I'm guessing my insurance won't cover any of it b/c it's still considered "experimental. Of course, the allergy office told me none of this before they gave me the drops. I will have to do a lot more research before deciding whether to use these or not.


23 years old
Diagnosed with UC March 2007
Current inflamation in the rectum
Asacol 4 tablets 3x/day
Rowasa (generic) - as needed for flares
Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri 1/day; Chewable multivitamin; Metamucil; Viactiv (Calcium and Vit. D) for Osteopenia; flaxseed


autoimmune dysfunc
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 12/4/2007 12:32 PM (GMT -6)   
That's pretty crappy of your Doctor office. Personally, I believe we are behind the Europeans and pretty much everyone actually. But cost wise etc. you should have been told. I have allergies to dust .. I did them 2-3 years as they said I would need (the shots) and then I got pregnant.. high risk.. already going to the doc 3 times a week so I wanted to stop the shots and I did. I wasn't finding any difference with them anyways. Also, it irked me as I was initially told it would take 2-3 years then when I got to that point they said oh no... 5 years. Well, forget that! but I have a cousin who went and he did well with the shots.

autoimmune dysfunc
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 12/4/2007 12:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh , I wanted to tell you this also.. .I learned that animal dander... for sure the cats.. is made of a sticky substance so it stays put 6 mo. Basically if you are somewhere where cats are (even people can have them on their clothes....) it will take awhile to get rid of the dander even though the cat is no longer there. I too am allergic to cats (wasn't years ago) but am now and my cat is 15 so I don't want to put her to sleep or give her away.. I am hanging in there. Someone (not a Dr.) told me you get immune to your own. But, I don't know how much I go for that. I probably will never get another cat even though I like them .. it's just more health problems then I want.

Another Day
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Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 1055
   Posted 12/4/2007 4:33 PM (GMT -6)   
autoimmune,
 
I'm with you on the allergy shots.  I think they work wonders for some but don't do much for others.  When I was with my first allergist, who was really just an ENT who treated allergies, back in the 70's, I took allergy shots weekly for five years.  This was before I had asthma.  I still had to take all the medications, I still had to take steroid injections.  After five years, I took myself off the shots.  I still continued to see this doctor for several years.
 
I had just been retested by this doctor before I found an allergist in a nearby state that did the RAST test.  The results were completely different, yes I still had allergies and I did not need allergy shots.  I also found out about all my food allergies.  I continued to use this allergist until he retired.
 
I now have the best of the best of allergists.  She had been treating me for a number of years for allergies before I was diagnosed with asthma.  The first day I saw her and had the allergy test and of course, I am allergic to almost everything, I told her that  had taken allergy shots for five years before and saw no improvement.  She told me they work for some people and obviously they didn't work for me and there was no reason to put me through that again.  I knew right then I had found the right allergist.
 
Carla
 
 
 

Moderator, Allergies/Asthma
 
Help support the forums so we can support you:  http://www.healingwell.com/donate
 
 
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Sara14
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 3822
   Posted 12/4/2007 5:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi guys. Thanks for the replies!

autoimmune - It sucks being allergic to cats, doesn't it? I can totally relate to not wanting to get rid of your cat. I had cats since I was a baby and didn't develop an allergy to them until I was in the 3rd grade. I took singulair, allegra and albuterol inhaler, which helped somewhat, but not very well. We never wanted to get rid of our cats though. I am taking the drops in the hopes that they help me and I can get a cat again in the future.
BTW, that person who told you that is definitely wrong. I grew up having cats and never became "immune" to my own. In fact, my allergy to them got worse over the years. I wish it were that easy! =)

another day - What food allergies do you have? My blood test came back with a "strong reaction" (my doctor's words) to wheat and yeast. My doc. said I should cut down my wheat consumption to 1 serving a day.
23 years old
Diagnosed with UC March 2007
Current inflamation in the rectum
Asacol 4 tablets 3x/day
Rowasa (generic) - as needed for flares
Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri 1/day; Chewable multivitamin; Metamucil; Viactiv (Calcium and Vit. D) for Osteopenia; flaxseed


Sara14
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 3822
   Posted 6/12/2008 11:27 PM (GMT -6)   
I just wanted to give an update on my experience with the allergy drops. I went back to my allergist last month and he did more testing. It seems the drops are helping because I'm a little bit less allergic to cats now. Yay! Now he's putting me on an "accelerated" course, increasing the amount of antigens in the drops every 6 weeks, instead of the usual every 3-4 months, so hopefully I will continue to improve.
24 years old
Diagnosed with UC March 2007; yet to go into complete remission
Asacol 4 tablets 3x/day
Rowasa (generic) - nightly; Canasa (1,000 mg) in the morning
Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri 2/day; Chewable multivitamin; Metamucil; Viactiv


jujub
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10372
   Posted 6/13/2008 12:53 AM (GMT -6)   
My husband had allergy shots for his severe ragweed and feather allergies. He continued them for about four year, then stopped because his symptoms were all gone. That was in 1985. He hasn't had an asthma attack or a serious allergy problem since. Of course, he still doesn't sleep on a feather pillow.

Sara, I think most allergist will tell you that even after desensitization, it can be risky to expose yourself to large doses of the allergen. Most would say the treatments may make you able to visit home where there are cats, but would not recommend your living with a cat.
Judy
 
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Avascular necrosis in both shoulders is my "forever" gift from steroid therapy.
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Please remember to consult your health care provider when making health-related decisions.


Sara14
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 3822
   Posted 6/14/2008 12:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Yeah, I know. I grew up with cats even though I was allergic...I just took prescription allergy meds, which helped but I still was sneezy and wheezy most of the time. So I'm hoping the drops will at least help to the point where I can maybe get a cat while being on other allergy meds and have no symptoms or very few. Getting a pet is very important to me. I'm glad the shots worked for your husband.
24 years old
Diagnosed with UC March 2007; yet to go into complete remission
Asacol 4 tablets 3x/day
Rowasa (generic) - nightly; Canasa (1,000 mg) in the morning
Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri 2/day; Chewable multivitamin; Metamucil; Viactiv


Another Day
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 1055
   Posted 6/14/2008 9:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Sara,
 
I know it's tough when you are an animal lover not to have one.  Throughout the years, I had always had dogs, knowing that I was allergic to them.  I'm sure I always tested positive for cats also, but didn't give it a second thought because I never planned to own a cat, much less two of them.  I had already had the cats about six years before the asthma started, but there is no way I could ever part with them.
 
Do you test positive to dogs also?  It sounds like your mind is made up about getting a cat.  You and I both know it is not going to help your allergies and asthma.  I have the two Himalayans with the very long hair and I know they don't help my allergies and asthma either. 
 
I just wanted to tell you it's not the right thing for you to do, but I am doing the very same thing, so I do understand.
 
Hugs!
 
Carla
 
 

Moderator, Allergies/Asthma
 
Help support the forums so we can support you:  http://www.healingwell.com/donate
 
 
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Sara14
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 3822
   Posted 6/14/2008 10:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Another Day. =) Sorry to hear you are allergic to animals too. It sucks, doesn't it? The past two allergists I had would just keep telling me to get rid of my cats (when I was living at home...now I don't have any), but the one I have now surprised me by not saying that I shouldn't get one. He actually seemed pretty optimistic that I may eventually be able to get one again.
 
Yes, I'm allergic to dogs too, unfortunately, because I love them too. My dad and my sister are also allergic to cats and dogs and they both have cats, too. My sister has 4 of them! She is not as badly allergic as I am though.
24 years old
Diagnosed with UC March 2007; yet to go into complete remission
Asacol 4 tablets 3x/day
Rowasa (generic) - nightly; Canasa (1,000 mg) in the morning
Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri 2/day; Chewable multivitamin; Metamucil; Viactiv


beachlife
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 473
   Posted 9/27/2011 9:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Sara, how did the drops/shots go for you? I'm starting to look into this as well, to defeat my cat allergy. Hope all is well!
Blogging UC:
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'00 - UC - Proctitis
Lialda 4x/day(2+2)
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Vit D 50,000 ICU/week
VSL#3

Sara14
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Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 3822
   Posted 9/28/2011 9:38 AM (GMT -6)   
I responded to you in the UC forum. They didn't help me so I stopped after 3 years and a lot of money spent... It's funny that I wrote this 4 years ago wanting a cat and now I really want a dog, not a cat. haha. I've decided to give up on having either though unless sometime down the road I can get an outdoor dog if I have a big yard and some kind of indoor area it could go in or something.
27 years old; diagnosed pancolitis March 2007

Asacol, 6 tabs, 2xday; Rowasa twice weekly; Ortho Tri-Cyclen; Wellbutrin started 8/4

Sara14
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 3822
   Posted 9/28/2011 9:39 AM (GMT -6)   
Keep in mind my cat and dog allergies are pretty severe so if yours are milder it might help you more. Good luck.
27 years old; diagnosed pancolitis March 2007

Asacol, 6 tabs, 2xday; Rowasa twice weekly; Ortho Tri-Cyclen; Wellbutrin started 8/4

petittarte
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 686
   Posted 10/3/2011 3:38 PM (GMT -6)   
I am allergic to both cats and dogs and have been getting shots for about 5 year. I also own 2 cats and a dog. My pets don't give me a problem most of the time but some other cats and dogs do. about a year ago I started reacting to my dog shots and the allergist had to cut back on my dose even though I had been on the maintenance dose for almost 4 years. I break out in hives if my sister in-laws dog licks me and will swell anywhere a friends dog makes contact with me as well as have difficulty breathing. At home my pets sleep in my bed and it doesn't bother me.
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