Hymenoptera venom allergy is an epidemiologically underestimated condition representing an important cause of morbidity worldwide. Preventing future allergic reactions in patients who have developed a systemic reaction is based on the correct management of emergency followed by a correct diagnosis, prescription of adrenaline autoinjectors and, where indicated, specific venom immunotherapy (VIT). Some epidemiological studies highlight the poor knowledge of this disease and the frequent inadequacy of its management. Moreover, they emphasize the importance of such a life-saving treatment as specific immunotherapy. The availability of high quality Hymenoptera venom extracts for diagnostic and therapeutic use has dramatically improved the prognosis and the quality of life of allergic patients. The subcutaneous VIT represents the most effective form of immunotherapy with allergen presently available, with a carry-over effect lasting up to several years after its interruption. This report on the management of children and adults allergic to Hymenoptera venom was drawn up by a panel of Italian experts. The main objective of this consensus is to review the scientific evidences related to diagnosis, therapy and management of patients allergic to Hymenoptera venom and is aimed to improve the knowledge about this disease and promote good clinical practices. Practical suggestions for a correct diagnosis, prescription of emergency therapy and immunotherapy, as well as strategies for taking care of patients´ management are included.
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