For some patients with allergies, medications such as antihistamines are not enough to sufficiently treat their symptoms. Others may face severe reactions like anaphylaxis due to their allergy. In these cases, Silver Falls Dermatology providers may recommend allergy immunotherapy, or allergy shots.
What is Allergy Immunotherapy?
Allergy immunotherapy is a treatment more commonly called allergy shots. These are routine injections made over a period of time to decrease allergic reactions to a specific allergen. Allergen immunotherapy shots will stimulate the immune system but cause a less severe reaction to the allergen. This builds a gradually diminished immune response over the course of the treatment.
Who is a Candidate for Allergy Immunotherapy?
Allergy immunotherapy is a good option for those who find that other medications, such as antihistamines, insufficiently treat their allergies. Some patients may also choose immunotherapy because allergy medications interfere with other medications that they must take. Finally, immunotherapy is often recommended for those who are allergic to insect stings, as the treatment can reduce the chance of anaphylaxis. Allergy immunotherapy is available for a range of allergens including pollens, dust mites, mold, animal dander or insects.
The Allergy Immunotherapy Process
Prior to allergy immunotherapy, your provider will likely perform an allergy test to diagnose your allergy. This typically consists of a skin prick test.
Allergy shots are usually performed in two phases. During the first phase, injections are administered one to three times per week, with doses gradually increased each time. This phases usually lasts between three to six months. During the second phase, injections are given about once per month. This phase typically lasts three to five years but may vary for each patient.