NICE recommends pharmalgen injections for bee and wasp stings
NICE has recommended the use of Pharmalgen injections in guidance on how to treat anaphylactic reactions to bee and wasp venom.
The regulator said the treatment should be used to treat people who have had a severe systematic reaction after being stung by a bee or a wasp.
The guidance also advised that it should be used in cases of moderate reactions to stings among those who have a raised baseline serum tryptaseiii, a high risk of future stings, or those who are concerned about being stung again.
NICE said that the treatment should be carried out by healthcare professionals with experience in venom immunotherapy.
Nearly two-thirds of deaths related to anaphylaxis over a period of nearly a decade came as a result of wasp stings. In the same period - 1992-2001 - 9% of deaths came after bee stings.
People suffering such a reaction after being stung are given regular doses of Pharmalgen, which works with their immune system and reduces the effect of the venom.
The first treatment period is followed up with a three-year programme, known as the maintenance phase.
Professor Peter Littlejohns, clinical and public health director at NICE said: “NICE is pleased to recommend Pharmalgen as a clinically and cost effective preventative treatment for bee and wasp allergy in final draft guidance issued today. Reactions from such stings can be upsetting, frightening and sometimes life-threatening.
“People who have had a serious reaction to a sting can often experience extreme anxiety about possible future stings, and this can affect their day to day lives. I am sure this decision will be welcome news to all those affected by this often distressing allergy.”