How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Modified ragweed tyrosine adsorbate is a vaccine used to prevent or reduce allergic symptoms caused by exposure to ragweed. It is made of an extract of ragweed pollen that has been chemically modified. It is thought that by introducing this small amount of pollen into the bloodstream, the body is able to increase its defenses against future attacks because it has been allowed to produce antibodies against the pollen.
The vaccine should be given before ragweed season (starting around the end of June) so that the body's defenses can be in place before the ragweed pollen arrives.
This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
POLLINEX-R is an aqueous extract of short ragweed pollen (Ambrosia elatior) chemically modified with glutaraldehyde adsorbed onto tyrosine and then suspended in saline.
Each patient treatment package consists of 4 prefilled sterile syringes each containing 0.5 mL of suspension. Each syringe is labeled as to syringe number and strength in total Protein Nitrogen Units. Contains phenol as preservative.
Each patient treatment package consists of 4 sterile vials each containing 1 mL of suspension. Each vial is clearly labeled as to vial number and strength in total Protein Nitrogen Units. Contains phenol as preservative.
How should I use this medication?
The vaccine is given in 4 doses, each containing increasing amounts of the ragweed pollen. The injections will be given by your health care professional and should be started by the end of June, if possible. The injections are given at 7-day intervals so that the last has been used by the beginning of August.
The injections should be kept in the refrigerator between 2 to 8°C until they are needed. The syringe that is going to be used should be allowed to come to room temperature before it is used.
After the injection, your doctor will ask you to wait in the office or clinic for 20 to 30 minutes to ensure that you don't have an immediate allergic reaction (rare). You should avoid strenuous exercise for at least 24 hours after each injection.
You should not eat a heavy meal just before receiving the injection. Your doctor may want you to take an antihistamine about one hour before your appointment.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important this medication be given exactly as recommended by your doctor. If you miss an appointment to receive this vaccine, contact your doctor as soon as possible to reschedule your appointment.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not use this medication if you:
- are allergic to ragweed vaccines or any ingredients of this medication
- have previously had a severe anaphylactic reaction to ragweed vaccine
- do not have a skin test reaction and clinical sensitivity to ragweed
- have any medical conditions that may result in uncontrolled bleeding
- have unstable or severe chronic seasonal asthma
- have a disease or condition which would make it difficult to treat a possible anaphylactic reaction (e.g., chronic heart or lung disease)
- have problems with your immune system
- are taking a medication in the β-blocker family
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
- eye irritation
- mild hives
- pain or swelling at the site of injection
- stuffy nose
- throat irritation
A serious allergic reaction is much less common and would be most likely to occur at the doctor's office. The doctor is prepared for such an occurrence. A serious allergic reaction could include:
- breathing difficulties
- swelling around throat and tongue area
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Allergic Reactions: Some people who take this medication experience a severe allergic reaction. Inform your doctor about any previous adverse reactions you have had to medications, especially medications used to treat allergies. Your doctor will likely want you to remain in the office for at least 30 minutes after receiving the injection, to ensure that you are able to access appropriate medical care immediately, if this medication causes a severe allergic reaction.
Contact your doctor at once if you experience signs of an allergic reaction, such as skin rash, itching, difficulty breathing or swelling of the face and throat.
Asthma: This medication may cause asthma symptoms or cause existing asthma symptoms to worsen. If you have a history of asthma, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. People with uncontrolled asthma should not use this medication.
Preparation: You should not eat a heavy meal just before receiving the injection. Your doctor may want you to take an antihistamine about one hour before your appointment.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not know if this medication passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children under 8 years of age.
Seniors: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for seniors, and those over 60 years of age may have a greater risk of impaired heart or lung function.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between modified ragweed tyrosine adsorbate and the following:
- beta-adrenergic blockers (e.g., atenolol, propranolol, sotalol)
- angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs; e.g., captopril, enalapril, ramipril)
- monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs; e.g., moclobemide, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine)
- tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline, nortriptyline)
Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications that you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. In many cases, interactions are intended or are managed by close monitoring. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2021. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/drug/getdrug/Pollinex-R