Allergy Immunotherapy Process/Protocol
Because allergy immunotherapy has the potential for life threatening allergic reactions, to ensure the safest administration possible, Student Health Service offers immunotherapy only to currently enrolled students who comply with the following standards and procedures.
Allergy immunotherapy will not be administered until the student has reviewed the allergy procedure form and has completed the annual intake questionnaire. In addition, clearly written orders from the prescribing physician need to be provided to our clinic before any injections are given. Once all requested records are received, the allergy clinic nurse will work with students to arrange an appointment for immunotherapy.
If there are concerns on a student's history form, or on any written orders or information from an outside allergist, injections may be held until these concerns are addressed. UWSP Student Health Service providers can at any time reevaluate the appropriateness of a student receiving allergy immunotherapy at our clinic and ask students to return to their allergist for follow up or for further immunotherapy. Students need to complete at least their first month of immunotherapy at their home allergist before having injections at Student Health Service.
Student's accounts will be billed $20 per allergy injection visit. Upon request, a copy of the bill can be provided to the student for submission to their insurance company.
Patients are responsible for providing their allergy extract (vials) or arranging for their transport to us; our nursing staff will remind the patient when the vial(s) is getting low so that they can reorder from the prescribing physician. Allergy extracts must be properly labeled with the following information: allergen content, concentration, and expiration date.
The patient is responsible for making arrangements ahead of time to receive allergy injections elsewhere when:
- Student Health Service is closed (primarily major holidays).
- The patient is out of town and unable to get their injection at Student Health Service.
Student Health Service will store the vials of allergy extract until the end of the academic year, at which time they will be discarded. If desired, each patient is responsible for picking up their allergy extract prior to the end of the academic year.
All orders pertaining to dosing intervals, quantity and/or changes in dosing must come from the prescribing allergist in the form of a written order. Changes in orders may be communicated via a verbal order repeated back to the provider to insure accuracy and documented in the chart, but a written/faxed order is preferred. If any problems or complications arise during immunotherapy, we will contact the prescribing allergist's office for further instructions.
Allergy injections are given by appointment only. We have limited time in the weekly schedule set forth to do allergy injections. Allergy injections are administered by a nurse with a physician present in the health clinic to manage any severe reactions that may occur. We encourage patients to schedule injection appointments early in the semester to make sure they can get a time that works for them.
If a change in dosage is required due to missing an injection(s), we will not continue injections until we have an order confirming the dose of extract(s).
We require a 30-minute patient observation each time an allergy injection is given. Failure to wait the required 30 minutes will result in automatic dismissal from the allergy injection service at Student Health Service. Patients should not exercise for 2 hours after an allergy injection due to the possibility of delayed reactions.
Reactions to immunotherapy can be immediate or delayed and can occur when a patient is increasing their build-up or maintenance therapy. Note: Immediate systemic type reactions can be life threatening, requiring prompt medical treatment. These reactions usually begin 5-20 minutes after injection with itching of scalp, ears, and palms of hands, a tickling irritation at the back of your throat, and difficulty breathing. Wheezing, sneezing, and coughing may accompany these symptoms. Early treatment may prevent progression of the reaction to generating hives, asthma, anaphylaxis, or death.
The patient is responsible for reporting any of the following since their last appointment/injection to the nurse prior to receiving an allergy injection(s).
- Delayed reaction, local or generalized (rash, itching, hoarseness, swelling).
- Asthma symptoms, especially a flare of asthma
- Any suspected illness or fever at the time of your appointment
It is the patient's responsibility to inform the nurse if there are any changes in prescription medications that they are taking. If a patient is prescribed a beta-blocker (i.e. propranolol, atenolol) at any time, we cannot administer immunotherapy.
If a patient experiences any type of severe reaction or begins having increasingly frequent reactions to the immunotherapy, we will no longer be able to administer the allergy injections and the patient will be referred back to their prescribing physician.
If you have further questions regarding allergy immunotherapy, please call 715-346-4646 to speak with one of our nurses.