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Allergy Shots: Immunotherapy For Allergy & Asthma Symptoms

Updated on October 23, 2015
Allergy testing
Allergy testing | Source

Allergy Shots, Treatment for Allergic Reactions

I have been getting allergy shots (immunotherapy) for over a year to reduce hives and other allergic reactions. It hasn't been too bad.

I get a shot in each arm once a week by the allergist and then I wait in the office for 20 minutes to make sure I don't have an allergic reaction. The nurse checks the shot area for any swelling and then sends me on my way until the next week.

The shots are very quick. Since the allergy treatment helps decrease allergic reactions to known allergens, it is well worth it!

Picture Of A Lady Getting An Allergy Shot

Picture Of A Lady Getting An Allergy Shot
Picture Of A Lady Getting An Allergy Shot | Source

How Long Do I Need To Get Allergy Shots?

The process at my allergy clinic is to go through 5 vials of vaccinations to get to the maintenance phase. Each vial contains enough serum to give shots for 5 weeks. Once you finish a vial, you move up to the next vial.

Each vial that you move up to contains a more concentrated serum. The serum is made specifically for each patient according to what you are allergic to. Little by little, the serum helps your immune system to build defenses against these allergens.

Once you make it to the fifth vial (the most concentrated vial), you begin the maintenance phase. Depending on the clinic and how you are doing, they could have you come anywhere from once a week to once every couple months.

I am already on my 5th vial and I have not had an allergic reaction to it yet. If I were to have an allergic reaction, they would keep giving me shots from that concentration of serum each week until I did not have a reaction, then they would proceed to the next concentration level of serum.

What Happens During An Allergy Shot?

When I go in to get an allergy shot, I sit in the waiting room with the rest of the patients that are there to get an allergy shot. When my name is called I go back to the shot room to get a small shot in the back of my arm between my elbow and my shoulder.

I go back to the waiting room and set my timer for 20 minutes. This is how long I need to stay at the allergy clinic in case I do have an allergic reaction that requires medical care. I have never seen anyone need medical attention from an allergy shot.

While you are waiting, you may feel some itchiness in the site of the shots. This is the allergen's reaction inside your body. You may develop a lump under the skin where you got the shot for a few hours. This is not a problem. I always get the lump. Try to move your arms around a bit and don't put an tight arm band on for a few hours so you can let the serum move.

Some people get a raised itchy rash on the back of their arms after they get the shot. This is the skin reacting to the allergen. It is good to let the doctor know about this, but they go away on there own after a while. Take a dose of benadryl to get rid of the itchiness.

I notice some people get a rash around the site of the allergy shots. That is OK too! As long as you don't have trouble breathing, there is no need for further medical attention and I have never seen this happen.

If you have any reaction after you receive the allergy shot, you should let your allergist or nurse administering the shot as soon as possible just in case. If the reaction only effects one system, you are OK using Benadryl to help relieve symptoms. If it effects more than two systems of your body or if your throat swells or blood pressure drops, you will need to use an Epi-Pen and head to the Emergency Room.

Since I have asthma also, I have to blow into a tube that measures my lung capacity before the shot and after I have waited 20 minutes. The nurse has me do this to make sure the allergens don't send me on the path to an asthma attack since I have asthma induced by allergies. I have my own tube, so nobody else gets to use it, but they keep it at the office.

Once your 20 minutes is up, you show the nurse the back of your arms. If she thinks it looks good, you go on your way. I have never seen anyone have to stay.

Allergy Shots Are Not Very Expensive!

Allergy Shots Are Not Very Expensive!
Allergy Shots Are Not Very Expensive! | Source

How Much Do Allergy Shots Cost?

As for how much it costs, it really isn't that much if it works. I pay around $4-5 dollars per weekly shot session after insurance.

It is a long process and they told me that I wouldn't start seeing results until I have been coming for 6 months.

You definately have to be able to keep up with it to make it work. I would definitely recommend it!

If anyone has any questions about allergy shots from a patients perspective, leave me a comment and I will try to answer. Have a great day!!!

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