“Biologics” seem to be everywhere these days-on the news, in advertisements, and at your allergists office. So what exactly is a “biologic?” These are injections of medications that are made from antibodies that have been changed so the antibodies attack certain problems in an allergic disease instead of attacking bacteria/viruses the way antibodies normally would. Let’s talk about some of the main biologics available today.
- Xolair - one of the first antibody injections introduced over 10 years ago. This antibody actually attacks another antibody that is too high in allergy patients (called IgE). It’s helpful for patients with asthma and some forms of chronic skin conditions (hives, eczema)
- Fasenra/Nucala - these are newer antibody injections that attack allergy cells that are too high (called eosinophils) and can also be helpful for asthma sufferers.
- Dupixent - this injection is an antibody that targets an intermediate signaling particle in the allergic reaction pathway which can lead to improvement in asthma and eczema patients as well.
Most of these injections are administered in an office with medical supervision which can often be your allergists office. Since allergists are familiar with allergy shots, its fairly easy for allergists to accommodate patients who might need a biologic therapy for their disease. Of course, the original allergy shot therapy still works very well for allergy patients and is typically much less costly. Allergy shots are also able to lower the altered levels of the chemicals I just described above and can even make this change permanent if patients follow the shot protocol designed for them individually by their Board Certified Allergy Partners physician.
If you suffer from allergic conditions, it’s a good idea to consider an allergy evaluation. There are many treatment options which can specifically target your individual needs.
By Dr. Ty Coleman
Allergy Partners of the Midlands