Background: The safety and efficacy of high-dose sublingual-swallow immunotherapy (SLIT) has been established in pollen rhinoconjunctivitis. This treatment has now been evaluated using an ultra-rush incremental dose regimen with a Juniperus ashei allergen extract in patients allergic to Cupressus sempervirens and Cupressus arizonica. Methods: Patients received either placebo or SLIT. Evaluation of safety was based on the frequency of adverse events during the incremental dose period (half a day) and during maintenance therapy (4 months). Evaluation of efficacy was based on symptom and medication scores at the pollen peak. Results: Seventy of the 76 patients included completed the study. There were no drop-outs during the rush procedure. One patient in the active group dropped out during the maintenance therapy due to adverse events: gastric pain and vomiting. There was also 1 drop-out in the placebo group due to pregnancy. Adverse events were infrequent, local and mild. Symptom scores for rhinitis and conjunctivitis were not statistically different between groups, but there was a marked and significant (p < 0.03) decrease of the medication score (about 50%) and nasal steroid consumption (about 75%) in the active treatment group. An increase from baseline of serum IgE and IgG4 J. ashei-specific antibodies was only observed in actively treated patients (p < 0.04 and p < 0.01, respectively). Conclusions: The tolerability and safety of high-dose ultra-rush SLIT were comparable to those reported in previous SLIT studies. SLIT with J. ashei extract, due to its high Jun a 1 content, significantly reduced nasal steroid consumption in patients allergic to European cypress.
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