Allergy Injections/ Immunotherapy Guidelines
Avoidance of allergic triggers and use of medications are major components of allergy management. Allergy injections are effective for allergies to grass, weed, tree pollens, house dust, and molds. Avoidance is the first line of treatment for animal related allergies. Allergy injections are not a cure, however symptoms may be minimized through a long-term commitment by the patient. Medications should be continued in conjunction with allergy injections and improvement may be seen as early as 6 months.
Factors that determine the need for allergy injections include: patient history, skin test reaction, and significance of the allergen to the geographical area. Allergy shots are 80-85% beneficial and require regular attendance for effective response. It is important for you to consider the following factors when making a long term commitment to allergy shots.
Allergy shots are indicated for the patient who is not being controlled with regular use of allergy medications and/or avoidance of allergy triggers and patients who cannot tolerate medications.
For patient safety allergy injections must be given in a medical facility, with a physician present and emergency medical equipment readily available in case of an allergic reaction. Allergy injections may not be given at home.
There are two basic types of potential reactions to injections. The most common type is a “local” reaction that may include minimal swelling, a small hive, redness and/or itching at the site of the injection. The less common type is a “systemic” reaction which may include immediate itching, hives, increased allergy and/or asthma related symptoms ranging from mild to severe.
The first year of allergy injections require 1-2 visits per week at our office or your primary care physician until a maintenance dose is reached. Injections start at the weakest dilution advancing to the strongest (maintenance) dilution. Maintenance is usually achieved in 4 months with 2 visits per week. Once maintenance is achieved, the recommended schedule is weekly. During peak allergy season your schedule may need to be adjusted to reduce symptoms.
After the first year of weekly injections, we can usually extend the schedule to every 2 weeks and hopefully every 3 weeks by the third year. Consistency in maintaining your shot schedule is important to your overall benefit from immunotherapy.
We are open daily for allergy injections. No appointment necessary. Please review shot hours.