Venom immunotherapy: 10 years of experience with administration of single venoms and 50 micrograms maintenance doses

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1992 Jun;89(6):1189-95. doi: 10.1016/0091-6749(92)90304-k.


For the past 10 years, we have administered venom immunotherapy with single venoms, whenever it is possible, and maintenance doses of 50 micrograms. The choice of venoms was based on clinical history, skin test reactions, and a knowledge of venom cross-reactivity. There have been 258 re-stings in 108 patients with only three systemic reactions (2.7% per patient; 1.2% per sting). Two of these re-stings reactions were very mild, hives and facial edema, in patients who had had initial severe anaphylaxis. Five other patients had transient ill-defined symptoms, not considered allergic after re-stings. The patients covered a wide age range. Twenty-seven patients, nine under age 16 years, had initial dermal reactions only, and 44 patients had severe anaphylaxis. Most patients had multiple positive skin tests. Seventy-five patients received single venoms (yellow jacket, 58; honeybee, 15; hornet, 2), and 30 patients received two venoms. Re-stings occurred from 1 month to 8 years, (mean, 2 years) after starting treatment. Results indicate that this approach with 50 micrograms top doses and single venom immunotherapy may be sufficient in most patients with an associated decrease in the cost as well as possible increased morbidity associated with the use of multiple venom antigens.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anaphylaxis / immunology
  • Anaphylaxis / therapy
  • Animals
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Insect Bites and Stings / immunology
  • Insect Bites and Stings / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Skin Tests
  • Wasp Venoms / immunology
  • Wasp Venoms / therapeutic use*
  • Wasps


  • Wasp Venoms