Allergy shots (subcutaneous immunotherapy) are the most common treatment for managing environmental allergies. These shots are administered every week in the office. This process involves gradually increasing exposure to actual allergens using injections. The goal is to change the natural reaction of the immune system and desensitize patients to the allergens. Over time, allergy immunotherapy usually reduces or eliminates the allergic symptoms and the need for ongoing medications.
Building Up Your Immunity
The “build up phase” of allergy immunotherapy with allergy shots typically takes 6-8 months. Once a maintenance concentration is reached, patients are continued on weekly allergy injections. The typical treatment period is 3-5 years and the frequency of injections may be gradually decreased to once every two weeks or once every month based on your symptoms.
Before proceeding with allergy shots our physicians will review the medications that you are taking. We do not recommend that you that you receive allergy shots if you are taking an oral or topical beta-blocker medication (which may be prescribed for high blood pressure, cardiac conditions, glaucoma, etc) because they may hinder the effectiveness of treating generalized allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) to immunotherapy.
What To Expect
Injections are administered in the office. After each injection, the patient must remain in the office for 30 minutes to monitor for any signs of an allergic reaction to the injection.
Patients will typically notice an improvement in their symptoms within 6-8 months of starting allergy shots. Maximum improvement in symptoms may not be achieved until they have been receiving their maintenance concentration for a period of 6-12 months.
An Alternative To Allergy Shots
Are you ready for allergy relief but hate the idea of getting shots? Whether you’re scared of needles, or a weekly trip to the doctor just doesn’t fit in your busy schedule, alllergy drops that you take at home could be the answer. Click here to learn more about allergy drops.