Allergy Injection Information
AND ANSWERS ABOUT ALLERGY SHOTS
WHAT ARE ALLERGY SHOTS (immunotherapy)?
Allergy shots are injections of substances you are allergic to.
Injections are given in very small amounts, increasing the dose as
tolerated. The initial series, usually consists of four vials made up
for each individual. The vials
start from the weakest, which is vial #1 and increase to the most concentrated,
which is vial #4 or your maintenance dose.
Since the effectiveness of allergy shots is dose related, it is important
that you receive the highest appropriate concentration.
ALLERGY SHOTS GIVEN TO EVERYTHING I AM ALLERGIC TO? The best
treatment is to avoid the things that cause allergy.
This may be easy when allergy is caused by things like dogs, cats and
food, but it is impossible to completely avoid house dust, and pollens.
The things that you are allergic to and cannot avoid are what you will
receive shots for.
LONG WILL I BE RECEIVING SHOTS?
The length of time shots are given varies with everyone.
During the “build-up” phase, increasing doses of allergy injections
are given once or twice a week (as tolerated) until predetermined target or
“maintenance” dose is achieved. This
usually takes 3-4 months. Maintenance
level is the highest dose of your concentrated vial you will receive.
If symptoms improve, shots are usually administered every 2-3 weeks for
at least 4 to 5 years of maintenance therapy.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I MISS A SHOT?
We encourage you to try
to maintain the schedule we have set up for you.
If you do have to miss an injection it will lengthen the time it will
take for you to reach your maintenance level.
WHY MUST I WAIT AT THE OFFICE AFTER I RECEIVE MY SHOT?
Allergy injections should be administered at a medical facility with
a physician present since occasional reactions may require immediate therapy.
When receiving immunotherapy with
allergenic extracts there is a small risk of a severe systemic reaction and very
rare fatalities have been reported. If
a systemic reaction does occur, it usually does so within twenty minutes of the
injection, although later reactions have been described.
A committee of the American Academy of Allergy has recommended a thirty
minutes wait in the doctor’s office.
CAN I RECEIVE AN INJECTION IF I AM WHEEZING OR HAVING ANY OTHER BREATHING
DIFFICULTIES? If you are wheezing hard or experiencing more difficulty
breathing than you normally have, then you probably will not receive your
injection. We ask you to please let
us know if you are not feeling well when you come for your injection.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO
START FEELING THE BENEFIT OF THE SHOTS?
Some patients may start to receive benefits within several months.
Others may not receive maximum benefits for a year or two.
SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE ANY DIFFICULTIES AFTER I LEAVE THE OFFICE?
people experience what is known as a late phase reaction.
Your arm may swell, itch or hurt. Ice
can be applied for the swelling or soreness.
If the itching is confined to where you received the shot, you may want
to take an antihistamine. We would
like to be made aware of any of these reactions, however, when you come for your
next injection. If after you leave the office, your symptoms become very
severe or you have generalized itching, hives or start to have any difficulty
breathing, please contact us immediately or go to the nearest emergency room
I NEED AN APPOINTMENT TO RECEIVE MY INJECTION & WHEN ARE THE TIMES I MAY
RECEIVE THE INJECTION?
You do not need to schedule appointment for your
should not come on two consecutive days if you are working towards your
maintenance level and are coming twice a week.
A forty-eight hour lapse is recommended.