Tankersley MS, Walker RL, Butler WK, Hagan LL, Napoli DC, Freeman TM. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2002;109:556–562

To evaluate the safety and efficacy of rush immunotherapy (RIT) with imported fire ant (IFA) whole body extract and to determine if prophylactic pretreatment with antihistamines and steroids reduces the rate of associated systemic reactions.

Patients, 18 to 65 years old, with IFA hypersensitivity were enrolled from August 1996-June 1999. Hypersensitivity was defined as history of systemic reaction to IFA sting and positive IFA skin test result.

IFA-allergic patients enrolled in the RIT protocol were randomized in a double-blind manner to one of 2 prophylaxis regimens: 1) placebo pretreatment and 2) premedication with twice-daily treatment of terfenadine 60 mg, ranitidine 150 mg, and prednisone 30 mg. The pretreatment was begun 2 days before protocol start and continued through the evening of the last RIT dose. The RIT protocol included hourly injections on days...

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