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鼻水とティッシュと女性
鼻水とティッシュと女性

花粉症の新しい治療法、減感作療法について

花粉症の女性

 
鼻水、くしゃみ、目のかゆみ…花粉症の人にとって春は魔のシーズンですよね。花見どころじゃないなんて方も多いのでは。予防が効果的とされて掃除や洗濯に手間がかかる上、外出時にはマスク、眼鏡、帽子の三点セット。ストレスが溜まらないはずがありません。しかし、ある治療法によってこの苦痛の日々から逃れられるかもしれません。

こちらでは、花粉症の新しい治療法、減感作療法についてご紹介します。

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減感作療法の基本知識

減感作療法とは

花粉症の女性

減感作療法とは、アレルゲンをほんの少しずつ体内に入れ、徐々に増やしていくことでそれに対する過敏な反応を減らしていこうという治療法です。

簡単に言うと、本来、細菌やウイルスといった外敵が体内に入り込んだときに、体を守るために働く免疫系が勘違いを起こすのがアレルギー反応です。本来外敵でも何でもないアレルゲンが体の中に入ったときに免疫系が外敵と勘違いして反応が起こってしまうのです。この勘違いを直すために、ほんの少しのアレルゲンを体内に入れます。大変少ない量のアレルゲンに接触したときには、免疫系は「外敵」と思わずにいます。そこでしばらくしてから、もう少しだけ多い量のアレルゲンを体内に入れます。そのときも免疫系は少ないために外敵とはまた認識しません、この繰り返しをすることによってアレルギーの発生をおさえる治療法です。保険診療が認められています。

注射による治療方法

初診時にアレルギー検査、問診などを行いアレルギーの重症度を確認します。9月頃より薄い濃度のスギ花粉エキスの注射を開始。1週間に一回程度通院して、徐々に濃度を上げて行きます。最高濃度に達したらシーズン中はそのまま注射を継続し、シーズン終了後は2週間に一回、注射を続けます。このような方法を大体3年から5年くらい続けていきます。

SLIT(スリット)減感作療法とは

SLIT(スリット)減感作療法とは舌下減感作療法の事で、注射をしない減感作療法として欧米の4割以上の施設で行われている花粉症、アレルギーの最新治療です。注射ではなく舌で吸収するので痛みがなく、ストレスを感じずに減感作療法が行え、自宅での服薬が可能というのがメリット。

経口用に調合したスギなどのエキスを毎日口に含む(舌下に吸収させる)方法で免疫力を高めます。仕組みとしては、舌下から吸収すると、あごの下の左右にあるリンパ節にエキスが届きやすくなります。リンパ節はアレルギー反応に深い関係のある免疫機能をもっています。それも顔に近いリンパ節という点も重要なポイントです。スギ花粉症の症状は鼻と目に集中しているからです。治療エキスの使用量、濃度の決定はSLIT(スリット)の専門的経験が必要な治療ですが、患者さんにとっては自宅で簡単にでき、通院も3~4週間に一度ですむ治療法です。

保険適用外の為、年間5~6万円ほど費用がかかる治療法でしたが、鳥居薬品が開発したシダトレンが2013年に保険適用され、自己負担が3割ですむようになります。しかし2~3年間の治療中はシーズン外も毎日投与する必要があるそう。費用は抑えられてもまだまだ手間がかかる治療方法と言えます。

減感作療法のメリット、デメリット

減感作療法のメリット

施設によってまちまちですが、おおむね50%は症状がなく薬を必要としなくなり、30%は薬は必要とするが、少ない薬の量で症状をコントロールできるそう。つまり8割の人が改善されています。少なくとも2~3年間注射を続けると、治療をやめても長期にわたり効果が持続するそうです。対症療法のように効果が数時間という訳ではないので、マスクや薬を常に持ち歩く必要がなくなります。花粉の時期にマスクや眼鏡をつけなくても鼻水や鼻づまり、眼のかゆみに悩まされなくなるのは本当にいいですよね。

減感作療法のデメリット

薬をやめたり、減らすことができ、いいことばかりのように見える減感作療法ですが、何と言っても手間と時間がかかります。また、少量とはいえアレルゲンを体内に入れるわけですから、それでアレルギーが起こる可能性もあります。花粉症のような症状が出たり、喘息発作やひどい場合にはアナフィラキシーという過激な反応が起こり、命に関わることもあります。

また最近では施行できる医療機関が減っています。他によい治療法(薬)が出来てきたこと、医療機関にとっても手間がかかること、保険点数上のメリットがあまりないことなどが理由です。

花粉症・アレルギーを治す注射しない減感作療法の威力―欧米で話題のSLITとは
斉藤 正峰
日経メディカル開発
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まとめ:知っておきたい花粉症の減感作療法

鼻水、くしゃみ、目のかゆみなど花粉症は日常生活に支障をきたしますよね。この症状を緩和する新しい治療方法があります。減感作療法についておさらいしておきましょう。

  • 治療方法:スギ花粉エキスの注射
  • メリット:8割に効果あり。永続的に効果が持続
  • デメリット:手間と時間がかかり、アナフィラキシーショックなど副作用が出る場合も

長年ツラい症状にお困りで、継続して通院できるという方、検討してみてはいかがでしょうか。

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