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Allergy and coronavirus: frequently asked questions

Information for patients

Frequently asked questions

Please see some answers to common questions we have received during the COVID-19 pandemic. If your query is not covered, please email us at gst-tr.allergyadult@nhs.net.

  • I have been referred to the service but I have not heard anything

    We have received your referral but are currently not scheduling any new patients unless clinically urgent. You will remain on our waiting list and we will be in touch with you in due course.

  • I have an appointment soon and I have not heard from you

    We are attempting to contact all patients in advance of your appointment. If you haven’t heard from us and your appointment is less than three days away, please contact us as detailed on the allergy homepage.

    There are no face-to-face appointments. We are offering only phone consultations. Please do not come to the hospital for your appointment.

  • I am worried that I might have coronavirus (COVID-19)

    Please call NHS 111 for advice. Please do not visit the emergency department (A&E).

  • I have symptoms that I am worried about

    If the symptoms are related to the condition for which we are seeing you and you need specific clinical advice from our team, please contact us as detailed on the allergy homepage.

    Chronic urticaria (hives) and angioedema (swelling)

    For a flare up, please take the following tablets every day:

    • your antihistamine – four tablets a day (eg two in the morning and two at night)
    • Famotidine/Nizatidine – 1 tablet twice a day
    • Montelukast – 1 tablet at night.

    If you have a severe flare up, please ask your gp for three to five days of Prednisolone 30 MG.

    We do not encourage daily use of prednisolone for a long period of time (weeks) as it might compromise your immune system.

    We are unable to start/restart Omalizumab (Xolair) or immunosuppression (Ciclosporin, Methotrexate) for urticaria during the COVID-19 period.

  • I am on medication prescribed by your team and I am not sure if I should stop them

    Do not stop any medication unless specifically told to do so by your clinical team.

    The following medications do not increase your risk of contracting COVID-19:

    • antihistamines (Loratadine, Cetirizine, Fexofenadine, Chlorphenamine, Piriton)
    • Montelukast
    • Ranitidine/Famotidine/Nizatidine
    • Omalizumab
    • nasal and inhaled steroids
    • skin creams with steroids and protopic.
  • Adrenaline autoinjectors (AAI)

    Please obtain new AAI from your GP if needed.

  • Immunotherapy

    We are unable to start any immunotherapy during the COVID-19 period. This applies to subcutaneous (injections) and sublingual (tablets and drops). 

    If you were due to start bee/wasp venom immunotherapy this year you should try to adjust your life to avoid being stung as much as possible. This might for example involve stopping beekeeping temporarily. You should always carry your adrenaline autoinjector and antihistamines. Once the COVID-19 period is officially over, please email us at contact us at gst-tr.allergyadult@nhs.net to find out about your venom immunotherapy start date. Please do not contact us about any form of immunotherapy before late July 2020.