Allergy Shots (cont.)
What Does the Allergist Do?
Before starting immunotherapy, the allergist will take a complete medical history.
- Be sure to tell him or her about every medication you take, prescription and nonprescription, even those you take only occasionally.
- Report any vitamins, dietary supplements, herbal products, and other alternative therapies you take.
- Also report every allergy you know of.
- If you are a woman, it is essential that you tell your allergist if you are pregnant or have any plans to become pregnant in the foreseeable future. In this case, allergy shots might be better suited for another time. Based on your particular situation, the allergist will tell you your options for treatment of your allergies during pregnancy. In certain situations, allergy shots can be continued during pregnancy, if it is determined that the potential benefits outweigh the risk of an unlikely, but potentially severe, reaction to one of the shots.
The allergist will prepare a schedule for your allergy shots. It is extremely important that you adhere to this schedule.
- At first you will get the shots often, once or twice a week.
- After about 6-12 months, you will start maintenance therapy, which means a shot about every month or so.
- Most people continue to take maintenance therapy for 3-5 years.
The allergist will also keep track of your symptoms to see how well the shots are working for you. The only reason to have further skin testing is if the allergy shots are not working and there is concern that you may have developed more allergies.
Jeffrey Lee Kishiyama, MD
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
Stephen C Dreskin, MD, PhD
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