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Allergy Shots

Allergy Shots Facts

  • Some allergens are impossible to avoid. You cannot live a normal life and completely avoid pollen, dust mites, mold spores, and certain other common triggers of allergic reactions.
  • Many allergy sufferers use medications such as antihistamines and steroid nasal sprays to suppress their symptoms, and these medications are very effective in most.
  • For people with very severe symptoms, and those who cannot take allergy medications, immunotherapy is an alternative.
  • Immunotherapy is the name for a treatment used by allergy specialists (allergists) to reduce sensitivity to allergens. This therapy is particularly useful for people with allergic rhinitis (sometimes called hay fever).
  • Immunotherapy involves a series of injections (shots) given regularly for several years. In the past, this was called a serum, but this is an incorrect name. Most allergists now call this mixture an allergy extract.
  • The first shots contain very tiny amounts of the antigen or antigens to which you are allergic.
  • With progressively increasing dosages over time, your body will adjust to the antigen and become less sensitive to it. This process is called desensitization.
  • Immunotherapy is the only available treatment that can modify the natural course of the allergic disease. This means that a 3- to 5-year regimen of injections may result in long-term benefits that extend well beyond the completion of the regimen.
  • Immunotherapy does not work for everyone and is only partly effective in some people, but it offers allergy sufferers the chance of eventually stopping medication or reducing the amount they have to take.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/4/2016
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Allergy Shots - Patient Experience

Did you receive allergy shots? Was your treatment sucessful? Tell us about your experience.

Woman with allergy

Allergy Shots (Immunotherapy) for Allergic Rhinitis

When you get allergy shots (immunotherapy), your allergist or doctor injects small doses of substances that you are allergic to (allergens) under your skin. This helps your body "get used to" the allergen, which can result in fewer or less severe symptoms of allergic rhinitis.

our allergist will use an extract of grass, weed, or tree pollen; dust mites; molds; or animal dander for allergy shots. You must first have skin testing to find out which allergen you are allergic to.

Your allergist injects under your skin a solution of salt water (saline) that contains a very small amount of the allergen(s). At first, you get the shot once or twice a week. You gradually receive more of the allergen in the shots.

SOURCE: HealthWise


Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Rhinitis, Allergic »

Rhinitis is defined as inflammation of the nasal membranes1 and is characterized by a symptom complex that consists of any combination of the following: sneezing, nasal congestion, nasal itching, and rhinorrhea.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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