Immunotherapy is appropriate for patients in who may benefit from the injections by exposure to the allergen extracts within them. The basic decision is whether to rely upon avoidance of trigger factors and suppression of diseases with medications through the many year course of asthma, or to use these measures plus immunotherapy, which gradually reduces the severity of the disease.
Decreased need for expensive medications results in progressive monetary savings, since asthma can be expected to persist for many years or even be a lifelong condition. When the patient has both allergic rhinitis and asthma, as in the case of more than half of asthmatics, both diseases can be expected to respond to the same immunotherapy resulting in clinical improvement and a reduced need for medications for both diseases.
*Information gathered from "Expert Care and Immunotherapy for Asthma, A review of Published Studies with Emphasis on Patient Outcome and Cost," Timothy J. Sullivan, M.D., John Selner, M.D., Roy Patterson, M.D., Jay Portnoy, M.D. and Morton Seligman, M.D., November 1996.