FAQs For Patients
What are allergies?
Sometimes the side effects of medications may seem more severe than the symptoms of allergies they treat. Many people suffer from drowsiness, disconnectedness, cognitive dysfunction, lethargy, memory issues, dizziness, increased heart rate, headaches and even nausea.
There is a rising concern about the long-term health effects of taking medications. Most people would prefer to take as few drugs as possible during their lifetime. Many are concerned about the rising cost of medications. Even over-the-counter drugs continue to steadily increase in price over the years.
What are allergy shots?
Allergy shots are the most effective and only way to permanently treat allergies. Allergy shots have been used and tested by doctors for many decades. They are considered safe and have no record of any long-term negative side effects. Studies show that allergy shots can also prevent people from developing new allergies, and reduce the risk of developing asthma in children with nasal allergies. Allergy shots are also natural. Allergy shots use only the proteins that trigger allergies as a way to permanently de-sensitize the body’s reaction to nature.
What is subcutaneous immunotherapy?
Allergy shots are referred to as "immunotherapy," and are given to increase your tolerance to the substances (allergens) that provoke allergy symptoms. They are administered with a very small needle just under the skin. This method is referred to as “subcutaneous”. These shots are not painful and use the same kind of needle that diabetics use to self-administer insulin multiple times a day.
What is self administered subcutaneous immunotherapy?
This method of immunotherapy involves the bi-weekly injection of a small dose of allergic extract. The dose is slowly increased until the person becomes tolerant to larger amounts of the same extract. These injections are initially given at the beginning of each new dilution under the supervision of a physician until a maintenance dose, or constant dose, is achieved. This usually takes approximately 30 weeks. Once the maintenance dosage is reached no more office visits for immunotherapy are required. The person continues to self administer the maintenance dose two times a week.
By administering smaller dosages more frequently per month patients receive safer and more effective immunotherapy.
Are allergy shots right for you?
Allergy shots are most commonly recommended to people who suffer from allergies, who find little or no relief through traditional medications. People who have allergy symptoms more than one season, or all season long each year, people who cannot avoid contact with allergens due to work environment or a favorite family pet, and those who suffer from allergy induced sinusitis are excellent candidates for immunotherapy.
How should I prepare for allergy shots?
For two hours before and after your injection, do not exercise or engage in vigorous activity. Exercise may stimulate increased blood flow to the tissues and promote faster release of antigens into the bloodstream. Tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking. Some medications, such as beta blockers, can interfere with the treatment and/or increase the risk of side effects. Talk to your doctor about the safety of continuing the allergy shots if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
What should I expect after allergy shots?
Redness, swelling, or irritation within one inch of the site of the injection is normal. These symptoms should go away within 4 to 8 hours after receiving the shot. You will be monitored for about 30 minutes in the physician’s office after receiving an allergy shot to make sure that you don't develop side effects. If you have side effects such as itchy eyes or runny nose, set up an appointment to meet with the allergy tech. Your dosage may need to be changed. If you begin to experience symptoms such as shortness of breath or tight throat after you leave the doctor's office, or right after self-injection, use the EpiPen and dial 911.