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  • bee sting allergy

    I just received the following paragraph from a friend. I am not sure what to
    answer and would appreciate any opinions from the group about the wisdom of
    one's college-age daughter (Anna) having "sensitivity injections" for bee
    sting allergy.

    "Anna had a bad reaction to a bee sting in November and has undergone venom
    testing. She now carries epipen and benadryl with her. They want her to do
    17 weeks of injections to reduce sensitivity. What do you think?"

    Many thanks! Teresa (in VA)

  • #2
    I just received the following paragraph from a friend. I am not sure what to
    answer and would appreciate any opinions from the group about the wisdom of
    one's college-age daughter (Anna) having "sensitivity injections" for bee
    sting allergy.

    "Anna had a bad reaction to a bee sting in November and has undergone venom
    testing. She now carries epipen and benadryl with her. They want her to do
    17 weeks of injections to reduce sensitivity. What do you think?"

    Many thanks! Teresa (in VA)
    Hi Teresa,

    There are various aspects to consider here.

    IF this person has cofidence in taking homeopathy for the long term, then it may be worth giving any advise. Otherwise it may not be appropriate to do so.

    Obviously this line of thinking is not in line with our homeopathic approach and is only causing immuno-suppression.
    The way I would approach this homeopathically is to find out the remedy based on her "bad reaction" to the bee sting. Then she carries these remedies with her wherever she goes.

    Then we work out a good constitutional remedy that should be prescribed based on all characteristics and complete history so that she develops in time a good, balanced susceptibility. this will automatically help remove the tendency to a "bad" reactions in the future.

    Hope this helps!


    • #3
      Re: bee sting allergy

      At 08:33 AM 1/9/2006 -0500, you wrote:
      >I just received the following paragraph from a friend. I am not sure what to
      >answer and would appreciate any opinions from the group about the wisdom of
      >one's college-age daughter (Anna) having "sensitivity injections" for bee
      >sting allergy.
      >"Anna had a bad reaction to a bee sting in November and has undergone venom
      >testing. She now carries epipen and benadryl with her. They want her to do
      >17 weeks of injections to reduce sensitivity. What do you think?"
      >Many thanks! Teresa (in VA)

      It certainly would not be homeopathy, of course.

      That, of course, is where I would go first as something is underlying this
      reation that needs to be dealt with, not injections of something with
      preservatives, human albumin, etc, not based on any laws or principles.

      Hope it helps


      See below for ingredients in such allergy injectoins
      (URL no longer works - from my files)

      Albumin in allergy extract

      This response submitted by Linda Zambenini , RN on 2/7/98.
      Email Address:

      Ask any allergist what the "diluents" are. They are either a combination of
      HSA (human serum albumin),normal saline, and phenol OR glycerol, normal
      saline and phenol. The glycerol based solution is almost always used for
      skin testing since it has higher viscosity and thus tends not to "bleed"
      into adjacent test sites and obscure results. From my experience working in
      an Immunization/Travel clinic it seems most extracts are HSA based, not
      glycerol. Glycerol is not used as often because it tends to cause more
      reactivity and sterile abcesses especially at larger doses. All this info
      can be found in the "Immunofacts" book which we have at our office -it is
      an excellent resource book on vaccines and immunobiologicals. I can get you
      the publisher and ISBN # if you want it. Also, patients who are RAST tested
      for allergies (blood test) instead of skin tested have
      their allergy extracts ordered from and produced by large pharmaceutical
      companies who deal in immunobiologicals, rather than having the allergist
      formulate them in the office. Bayer and Allermed are a couple of the
      companies that come to mind. When we get these vials of allergy extract to
      administer to a patient they come with extensive package inserts (you
      practically need a microscope to read) just like any other prescription
      drug. They all use different formulations - some mix cat pelt allergen
      using the HSA mixture, others use this for their dust mites etc... I have
      read this on the ingredient list on the package inserts. HSA is used as a
      protein stabilizer (as is glycerol) to extend shelf life. Without HSA or
      glycerol (ie: just normal saline and phenol} the allergy extract is only
      good a short time- I beleive just a few hours or days. Maybe you could get
      a package insert from an allergist that employs RAST testing, or from Bayer
      if you are interested. Allergy extract formulated in the allergist's office
      almost never list the diluents used - just the allergens (cat,dust, mold,
      ragweed, pollens, cockroach,dog etc...).

      I learned about allergy extract diluents accidently about 2 weeks ago when
      I was flipping through our "Immunofacts" book looking for some info about a
      vaccine. There was a single page dedicated to allergenic diluents - I was
      quite surprised to learn that HSA was used. I always thought they were
      formulated with saline or glycerol and phenol. I
      also get allergy shots and contacted my allergist. Sure enough my dust
      mites vial was diluted with the HSA diluent. I asked my allergist to
      reformulate it and told him my concerns. He has agreed to do this but made
      a point of saying it is FDA approved , which it is. However, I choose to
      have control over what goes in my body till more is known. I do not beleive
      non-essential products (like allergy extracts) should contain HSA; till
      more is known these should be reformulated , which is possible, to
      eliminate any risk.

      Concentrated extracts must be diluted with a sterile diluent (such as
      normal saline, buffered saline, saline with human serum albumin, or saline
      with 10% glycerin) prior to use in a patient for intradermal testing.
      Concentrates of Allergenic Extracts are manufactured to assure high potency
      and have the ability to cause serious local and systemic reactions
      including death in sensitive patients. Most reactions occur within 20
      minutes after injection, but may occur later. To minimize the potential for
      local or systemic reactions, the
      relative sensitivity of the patient must be assessed from the allergic
      history and from clinical observations. Patients should be informed of the
      possibility of these reactions and the precautions should be discussed
      prior to testing
      (page isn't working but is still in google cache)


      The USACAEL stocks over 500 allergen extract products. These
      materials are procured from FDA licensed manufacturers. Various types of
      extract products are available for the formulation of treatment and
      diagnostic skin testing materials.

      Allergen Extracts

      1. Aqueous Extract Solutions

      Sterile aqueous stock solutions comprise the vast majority of
      allergen extracts on the shelves of the USACAEL. A typical aqueous extract
      solution as prepared by our contract manufacturer, Bayer Laboratories, will
      contain the active ingredients or allergens as noted on the label (pollen,
      dander, molds, dust etc.). The preservative is 50% V/V glycerin, 0.4%
      phenol or in a few instances where phenol cannot be used 0.1% thimerosal.
      Additional ingredients include 0.5% sodium chloride and 0.275% sodium
      bicarbonate. These solutions should be clear and free from any particulate

      The supplied concentration of these solutions is usually expressed as
      Protein Nitrogen Units per ml (ie. 10,000 or 20,000 PNU/ml) or Weight per
      Volume (ie. 1:10 or 1:20 W/V) concentrations from the manufacturer. The
      large part of our inventory (attached) are stocked at PNU/ml and W/V

      The FDA is working hard to better standardize allergen extract
      products. The continued utilization of these products and scientific
      advances have aided in the gradual refinement of earlier allergen extract
      products. The perfect allergenic extract as been defined as one that
      contains all the potential allergens in their native form, in the proper
      ratio and with all irrelevant material removed. Currently, however, only a
      few relevant "allergens" have been isolated in only a small number of
      extract products (Fel d 1 or Cat Allergen 1 in Cat extracts and Antigen E
      in Short ragweed extract for example).

      Further progress has been made towards the "standardization" of
      allergen extract products. Standardization referring to the quality of an
      extract product being comparable to an appropriate reference preparation of
      assured potency. The Food and Drug Administration working with the World
      Health Organization and the International Union of Immunologic Societies
      have worked hard to develop procedures for establishing reference
      preparations for comparison. Potency as defined by the Code of Federal
      Regulations, Part CF600.3, 1985 is the "specific ability or capacity of the
      product, as indicated by appropriate laboratory tests or by adequately
      controlled clinical data obtained through the administration of the product
      in the manner intended, to effect a given result." The vast majority of
      extract materials currently available are not standardized and their
      potency is not established.

      The FDA has allowed manufacturers to label allergen extract products
      with unstandardized measuires of potency based on the weight of raw source
      material extracted with a given volume of extracting fluid (Weight per
      Volume) or a determination of the protein nitrogen content per milliliter
      (Protein Nitrogen Units per ml) of the final product. While these two
      methods are widely accepted neither has proven to be a good index of true
      potency. Thus, FDA has come up with methodology to better standardize these
      products to more truly reflect allergenic potency. The Allergy Unit (AU)
      and Bioequivalent Allergy Unit (BAU) designations have been given to
      products that through testing have compared well with FDA reference
      preparations of more assured potency and efficacy. The value of the AU and
      BAU is derived from results of a direct test of allergenic activity based
      on intradermal skin test end point titration in humans. The in vivo testing
      being a better reflection of true allergenic activity.

      While the number of AU and BAU labelled products are few with Mite
      and Cat products being good examples, more standardized products are to
      become available in the near future. As these products are made available
      all PNU/ml and W/V counterparts will be taken off the market. The USACAEL
      stocks these standardized products as they become available.

      CAUTION: Please note that W/V, PNU/ml, AU/ml and BAU/ml products are
      not interchangeable. It is well documented that the potencies of these
      products are extremely variable between manufacturer sources as well as
      between lots from the same manufacturer. It cannot be stressed enough that
      in transferring a patient from one manufacturer product to another, even
      when assigned identical units (PNU, W/V, AU or BAU) this necessitates
      careful consideration for a cut back in dosage. Non standard to standard
      product changes also necessitates a reevaluation of treatment dosing.

      2. Freeze Dried Extracts

      Sterile freeze dried preparations exist in powder or dry cake form
      and must be reconstituted or diluted. Freed dried extracts may be
      reconstituted with albumin saline diluent containing human serum albumin
      (HSA), normal saline, buffered saline or 50% glycerin. It is recommended
      that reconstitution be accomplished using HSA albumin saline diluent.
      Extracts must be reconstituted according to manufacturer instructions found
      on vial labels or package inserts. Expiration dates vary in accordance with
      type of diluent used. While the dry freeze dried powder may have a shelf
      life of 4 years, reconstitution with 50% glycerin may be 30 months and
      aqueous reconstitution only 4 months. For higher dilutions the expiration
      dating becomes considerably shorter.

      Currently, we stock only venom freeze dried products. Freeze dried
      venoms of honey bee, yellow jacket, yellow hornet, white faced hornet,
      mixed vespid and wasp are available. Strict attention must be paid to the
      manufacturer insert for the reconstitution and dilution of these products.
      Venom products are labelled in micrograms of venom protein per ml. All
      venom products are standardized based on the enzyme hyaluronidase.

      3. Alum Precipitated Extracts

      Another form of extract product stocked by the USACAEL is the
      Alum-precipitated form. Alum-precipitated extract products are formed by
      precipitating the raw source material or allergenic proteins with a
      solution of aluminum hydroxide (alum). These products due to their slow
      release nature are used for treatment only and not for skin test diagnosis.
      By forming the slow release alum-allergen complex larger doses of extract
      may be given at less frequent intervals. These solutions are visibly cloudy
      with a great deal of precipitated complex evident. It is advisable to shake
      before using. Center-Al, an alum-precipitated extract from Center Labs, is
      supplied as sterile suspension with phenol added as a preservative. With a
      prolonged antigenic stimulation there is a more rapid progress towards
      achieving a higher maintenance dose with reduced incidence of systemic
      reactions. However, local reactions at the site of injection may be
      immediate or delayed. Delayed reactions may start several hours later with
      local edema, erythema, itching and pain.

      Center -Al alum precipitated extracts should not be mixed with other
      alum precipitated or aqueous extract forms. Mixing may interfere with the
      alum precipitated. They should also only be diluted with sterile diluent
      (Phenol Saline) containing 0.9% Sodium Chloride and 0.4% Phenol. Use of
      other diluents may free the alum complexed allergen.

      The freezing of these extract solutions may also cause agglomeration.
      Discard alum-precipitated products that freeze. Center Laboratories has
      also indicated in the package insert that there is an increased incidence
      of nodule formulation at injection sites with the higher dosage of
      individual alum-precipitated products and at lower doses with mixtures of
      these products. No single dose should provide more than 5000 PNU regardless
      of whether it is a single antigen or mixture. A single dose should not
      exceed 0.5 ml in volume. It is recommended if nodules occur that the
      highest single dose should not exceed 0.2 ml (2000 pnu).

      4. Alum Precipitated, Pyridine-Extracted Forms

      Before alum precipitation, these materials have been extracted in a
      highly alkaline solution containing pyridine. Allpyral extracts by Bayer
      Labs are pyridine-extracted. The USACAEL stocks only several items in their

      Diluents and Preservatives

      Dilutions of concentrated extracts prepared for diagnostic testing
      materials and treatment sets retain potency longer when diluted with Human
      Serum Albumin saline diluent (HSA) than with plain buffered or phenol
      saline alone. Glycerin is a superb stabilizer and extracts in 50% solution
      retain their potency for considerable periods of time. It must be noted,
      however, that when extracts containing more than 10% glycerin are injected,
      a burning sensation occurs at the site of injection which is not well
      tolerated by patients. Thus, intradermal testing materials (ID) are diluted
      with HSA diluent rather than a 50% glycerin solution. Prick or scratch
      testing materials, on the other hand, may be diluted and stabilized with
      glycerin. This is due to the fact that glycerin is not irritating on the
      surface of the skin. Thus, prick or scratch testing materials are in 50%

      Immunotherapy treatment sets for patients are diluted down with HSA
      diluent except where Center- Al or Allpyral extracts are being used. In
      instances where these alum-precipitated extracts are being used the
      preferred diluent is phenol saline diluent (0.9% sodium chloride and 0.4%

      Freeze dried venoms are also recommended to be diluted down with HSA

      While ID testing materials are diluted down with HSA diluent, prick
      testing materials with 50% glycerin preservative added already are diluted
      down with 50% glycerin solution. Prick materials with only 0.4% Phenol
      preservative added and no glycerin are diluted down with 100% glycerin.

      As an additional note, Bayer Labs has recently addressed the
      possibility of the Human Serum Albumin diluent being contaminated with
      hepatitis or the AIDS virus. A letter to the USACAEL indicates that this is
      unlikely due to the fact that all lots of HSA are subjected to a heat
      process (60 degrees C for 10 hours). This was originally intended to
      inactivate the hepatitis virus. The AIDS virus is also heat labile. The
      isolation process for albumin destroys the AIDS virus.


      A package insert!

      1. General
      Sterile aqueous diluent containing albumin (human) [Albumin Saline with
      Phenol (0.4%)] or diluent of 50% glycerin may be used when preparing
      dilutions of the concentrate for immunotherapy. For intradermal testing
      dilutions, Albumin Saline with Phenol (0.4%) is recommended. Dilutions
      should be made accurately and aseptically, using sterile diluent, vials,
      syringes, etc. Mix thoroughly and gently by rocking or swirling. Parenteral
      drug products should be inspected visually for particulate matter and
      discoloration prior
      to administration whenever solution and container permit.

      Sheri Nakken, R.N., MA, Hahnemannian Homeopath
      Well Within & Earth Mysteries & Sacred Site Tours (worldwide)
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