(HealthDay News) — A shortage of honeybee, wasp, and hornet venom extract has allergists concerned.
Manufacturing problems at one of two companies that produce the extract has reduced the U.S. supply by up to 35 percent, according to CNN. The shortage is expected to continue through the summer — peak sting season, University of Florida Health allergists warn.
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology and the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology recommend reducing maintenance doses of the extracts, increasing time between shots, and delaying treatment for patients at the lowest risk of a bad reaction.
“We have to be diligent and we have to be careful about misuse of these extracts because they’re highly valuable right now,” Mario Rodenas, M.D., a clinical assistant professor of allergy and clinical immunology at the University of Florida College of Medicine in Gainesville, said in a university news release. Physicians should urge their venom-allergic patients to keep epinephrine auto-injectors handy in case of a life-threatening reaction, according to the news release.