You have allergies, and your doctor thinks allergy immunotherapy, or allergy shots, might help you feel better. The goal of allergy shots is to improve your allergy symptoms. But, there can be side effects. Those side effects are around the injection site, like pain, itching, bleeding, or swelling. Rarely, some people have a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. If not treated right away, this type of reaction can be life-threatening. Because of this risk, you must wait in the office for 30 minutes after each shot. If you decide to get shots, we make your treatment by mixing your allergens in a vial just for you. Once your vial is ready, you come to the office to get your shot at least once a week. Allergy shots are given under the skin in your arm. After reaching your highest dose, also called your maintenance dose, your doctor will decide how often you need to come. Eventually most people come every 4 weeks. It takes 3 – 5 years to finish the treatment.
I’m going to tell you a little bit about allergy shots and you can decide if it’s something that’s right for you.
The goal is to improve your symptoms.
They help your immune system get used to the allergen. Then if you’re having less symptoms, you can take less medicine.
You’re less likely to get asthma or form new allergies if you’re taking allergy shots.
And if you have asthma or Eczema it may help those get better too.
This therapy has been around for a long time and is generally well-tolerated. But like with any treatment, there can be side effects.
The most common are at the injection site: pain, itching, bleeding, swelling
Rarely, you can have a more severe reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can involve throat swelling difficulty breathing.
Anaphylaxis can also cause: body rash/itch, profuse vomiting, very low blood pressure
The doctor’s office will hold you for 30 minutes to monitor your reaction to the shot.
Each time you come for your shot, we’ll ask you how you’re feeling, because if your asthma has flared up or you’re not feeling well, you won’t get a shot that day.
We also pay really close attention to the dose you’re getting and make sure you’re getting the vial that’s specific to you.
It might have pollen, or dust mite or dog dander.
You’ll get a shot once or twice a week. The shots are given under the skin in your arm.
We’ll start at a really low dose, and slowly get stronger and stronger.
Eventually, once you reach your maintenance dose or your top dose, your doctor will decide how often you need to come.
And overall it’s about a 3-5 year course.
We talked about a lot of things. If you have any questions about your treatment, be sure to ask your doctor.
For more information: NationwideChildrens.org/Allergy-Asthma