Allergy Shots

If you cannot avoid your allergens and medication does not control your symptoms, your doctor may recommend you receive allergy shots or immunotherapy. The purpose of immunotherapy is to help your body get used to (become desensitized) to your allergens, in hopes that your immune system will build up tolerance, and symptoms lessen overtime.

Allergy shots may also be an effective treatment option if the medication(s) prescribed by your doctor causes worrisome side effects or interacts with other medicines that are essential for your health. Furthermore, allergy shots may be helpful if you want to lessen the long-term use of a medication used to treat your allergies.

Each shot contains a sufficient amount of the specific allergen to stimulate your immune system, but not enough to cause you to experience a full-blown allergic reaction.

They can be administered to control your allergic response to seasonal allergy symptoms, such as hay fever or allergic asthma, due to exposure to pollens released by trees, or allergies to cockroaches and dust mites, which can impact your health year-round. Allergy shots can also relieve symptoms triggered by stings from bees or wasps.

Allergy shots are usually injected into the upper arm, and administered on a “build-up” and “maintenance” phase. During the build-up phase, you’ll receive shots one to three times a week for 3 to 7 months. The allergen dose is progressively increased with each shot. You’ll continue with the maintenance phase for three to five years or longer, each month.

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