Once tolerance has been shown, the dose is carefully increased with each successive injection. Shots are given once or twice a week, each at a slightly higher dose. As a result, sensitivity is lowered with each injection. The only reason this is possible is because of the marvelous capacity of the immune system to adjust or adapt by producing protective antibodies. Many other immune adjustments also take place, including the lowering of a troublesome antibody called IgE. One could consider IgE to be a "rogue" antibody, one which serves no purpose, but which is present in too large an amount in the allergic person. One can reach a "maintenance level" in about five months if they are able to get and tolerate the injections twice each week. Afterwards, shots are given every two weeks for a time and then adjusted subsequently with longer intervals by your allergist when the desired effect has taken place. You should see the allergist yearly to decide to continue, when to modify the serum, and when to stop.
Are allergy shots safe?
One could worry about having an allergic reaction to the shot. After all, we are injecting a mixture of materials to which an allergy was just proven by skin testing. Some reactions take place but they are ordinarily minor. It is rare for a patient to experience anything more severe that local swelling and itching. When those reactions do take place, your physician will be there to treat the reaction until it has resolved. Most reactions are the result of mistakes in injection of too large an amount. However, our nurses are very experienced and we have the greatest confidence in them. We appreciate the patient having "another set of eyes" to assure that they receive the proper dose.
Allergy Shots Management
Allergy shots therapy national recommendation is for 5 years. The dosages management are as follow:
Patients will be receiving shots twice a month for a period of 6 months then shots intevalous will be every month for 5 years. Patients receiving allergy shot therapy will need to see theirs allergist for a follow up appointment every year. This visit usually is made when the patients vial # 5 expires or run out of solutions.
What is best for you?
Many will have responded to medications. However, most patients who come to our office have already failed to get relief from an excellent medical regimen. Allergen immunotherapy (allergy shots) is the only treatment currently available that makes a patient less allergic. Its major drawback is that it is not convenient. However, if one can arrange their schedule to receive the injections on a regular basis, you will almost certainly enjoy a marked reduction in your allergies that usually lasts for many years. Speak with Dr. Andrade, Dr. Brown, Dr. Song or our head nurse, Elisa Sukenick, R. N. for further information about immunotherapy. It is a long journey, but well worth the trip!