Therapeutics for Allergy Management
Pp. 162-181 (20)
Sagar Laxman Kale and Naveen Arora
Allergy is defined as an inappropriate immune response in atopic individuals
to antigens called as allergens capable of mediating type I hypersensitive reactions.
Prevalence of allergic diseases is on the rise and has reached epidemic proportions.
Extensive research over the past few decades on pathogenesis of allergic diseases and
the molecular mechanisms involved has led to many therapeutic approaches.
Management of allergic diseases includes allergen avoidance, pharmacotherapy and
allergen specific immunotherapy (SIT). Though allergen avoidance has proved to be
effective, it is not feasible to control the exposure of allergens. Pharmacotherapy
includes a vast range of strategies and therapies for managing allergic diseases of which
inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) form the first line of treatment. Though ICSs are highly
effective, in severe asthma cases other class of medications like β2 agonists, antihistamines,
omalizumab etc., in combination with ICSs are recommended. Allergen
specific immunotherapy (SIT) is the only treatment modality that acts on effector cells
and prevents progression of mild allergy to severe allergic diseases. Inspite of these
therapies for allergic disease many patients have poorly controlled symptoms. A better
understanding of the complex aetieology of insights into molecular mechanisms will
lead to development of new therapeutics with improved efficiency and minimal side
Type I hypersensitivity, allergy, Th2 cells, corticosteroids,
bronchodilators, mediator antagonists, immunotherapy, serine protease inhibitors,
anti-oxidants, peptide immunotherapy.
Allergy and Immunology Section, CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, Delhi University Campus, Mall Road, Delhi, India.