For U.S. Residents only

Understanding Immunotherapy

What goes into my allergy shot?
Your treatment team will review your skin or blood test results and determine which allergy triggers should be selected for immunotherapy. The most commonly treated allergens include house dust mites, pollens (from grasses, trees, and weeds), dander from pets and other animals, and molds. The products mixed for your allergy shots are called allergenic extracts. These are natural, purified preparations made from the actual allergen source and are approved for clinical treatment. Most allergenic extracts can be mixed together while others are best treated separately. Therefore, depending on the number and type of allergens included in your treatment, you may receive two or more injections for each visit.

What will my appointment be like?
You will work with your allergy specialist to develop a treatment plan. This plan will determine the frequency of your visits. Typically, patients beginning immunotherapy have 1-2 visits per week until reaching the maintenance phase. When you have reached maintenance, appointments will be less frequent occurring once every 4-6 weeks. Until your immune system has had time to adjust, you may still need the medication you are already using. During your visit, you will be given 1-3 shots depending on the number of allergens treated. Some people report minor discomfort from the injection but the nursing staff will have topical treatments to lessen any irritation or pain following a shot. Once you have received your injections, you will be asked to wait for 30 minutes in your doctor's office to be observed for an allergic reaction. Any reactions, no matter how minor, should be described to your physician so it can be documented appropriately.

 

Learn more about Immunotherapy: 
Fight the Cause
Receiving Allergy Shots