Allergy Shot Instructions

Learn about allergy shots from our own Tara Shankar, MD

Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Allergy Injections

Allergy serum, which was made specifically for you, contains allergens which we found you to be sensitive to in your recent allergy evaluation. Each vial or set of vials lasts approximately ten weeks if you receive weekly allergy shots as recommended by your Allergist.

It is important that your Allergist knows which prescription medications you take on a regular basis BEFORE you begin allergy shots. It is also important to update our staff if you switch medications or begin taking new medications while receiving allergy shots. If you are currently taking beta blockers (typically taken for high blood pressure) or begin taking beta blockers after you are already receiving allergy shots, please let the nurse know before you get your shot.

Each week, you will receive gradually increasing doses of allergy serum. The initial vial or vials of allergy serum has the lowest concentration of allergens and was made to increase your tolerance to the allergen while, at the same time, not cause too significant of an allergic reaction. The concentration of allergens will be increased every time a new vial or set of vials is made until you reach maintenance dose. Maintenance dose is the highest dose tolerated without a reaction. It typically takes about 6-12 months to reach maintenance dose depending on reactions and compliance with weekly schedule.

It is VERY important to get your allergy shots on a weekly basis. Weekly compliance is important in order to build your immunity. Additionally, the possibility of reactions is reduced if you receive weekly injections. However, certain other medical situations, like an active infection or asthmatic symptoms, may mean that you should not receive your allergy shot. If you are not feeling well, are having an asthma attack or have just started antibiotics prescribed by another physician, please let our nurses know BEFORE you get your shot.

We recommend you wait in our office 20-30 minutes after injections are given. This is so immediate medical care is available should a reaction occur.

Reactions should be brought to the attention of the doctor or nurse immediately. Sensation of warmth followed by generalized itching; tightness of the throat or chest; swelling or itchiness of the throat, tongue or roof of mouth; itching of nose followed by sneezing; eye symptoms; nasal stuffiness; hives; and/or swelling at the injection sites are a few reactions that could occur.

If you have left our office and have any reaction, such as the ones mentioned above, go to the nearest emergency room or urgent care for immediate treatment.

Certain stimuli, such as exercise, hot muggy weather, or anxiety, can cause your overall circulation to increase which in turn could cause rapid absorption of allergy serum. Rapid absorption of allergy serum could lead to an allergic reaction. Therefore, you should not exercise for several hours before or after your allergy shots, especially in hot muggy weather.

Allergy shots can be continued during pregnancy; however, your dosage may need to be adjusted. You should speak with your Allergist regarding continuation of your allergy shots during pregnancy.

In the first 6-12 months, you will receive injections on a weekly basis. Depending on your response to the injections, the frequency of the injections could be changed to every two to three weeks. Generally, allergy injections are discontinued in three to five years but some patients may continue them for a longer duration if symptoms are controlled only with them.

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