Allergy Injections

These are injections given to decrease allergy symptoms caused by a substance (known as an allergen) that triggers certain symptoms.

These are injections given to decrease allergy symptoms caused by a substance (known as an allergen) that triggers certain symptoms.

Allergy shots are injections given to decrease allergy symptoms caused by a substance or allergen. They are usually recommended if avoidance of the allergen and/or use of a medication do not control symptoms.

  • Allergy shots are a form of immunotherapy.
  • Most people are able to control their allergy symptoms with avoidance of the allergen and/or the use of medications.

Immunotherapy involves injecting small amounts of a known allergen under the skin, usually in the upper arm.

  • If there was no reaction after the previous injection, the amount of allergen is increased with each shot. This is done to help you build tolerance for the allergen.
  • Immunotherapy is helpful for some people who have allergic rhinitis, allergic conjunctivitis, allergic asthma and hypersensitivity to stinging insects.

Most persons with allergy symptoms can receive the care they need from their primary healthcare provider. If your symptoms are difficult to control, or the cause of the symptoms is difficulty to identify, your primary healthcare provider may refer you to an allergist-immunologist.

  • An allergist-immunologist will take a comprehensive history, examine you and possibly perform allergy tests.
  • If your allergy tests are positive, and your symptoms cannot be controlled with avoidance or use of medications, allergy shots may be recommended.
  • You may be asked to keep a daily diary of your symptoms once your allergy shots have begun.

Immunotherapy is not a cure for allergies and improvement is not guaranteed. However, it may decrease your sensitivity to a specific allergen.

  • Sublingual allergy treatment has recently been approved. However, allergy shots remain the recommend method for providing immunotherapy.
  • Allergy shots require frequent visits to your healthcare provider for an extended period. Consider this time commitment before starting immunotherapy.
  • Although research continues, immunotherapy is not recommended for people who are sensitive to certain foods.

When you are seeing a healthcare provider about allergy shots, be prepared to discuss your symptoms, how long you have had them and what makes them worse or better.

  • Bring a copy of your medical history (past illnesses, surgeries, and hospitalizations).
  • Make a list of your medications (including over-the-counter).
  • If your healthcare provider wants you to take a medication, ask if an over-the-counter product is right for you.
  • If your healthcare provider prescribes a medication for you, ask for a generic version. If your doctor thinks that a generic version is not right for you, ask for a medication on the lowest available tier of your Prescription Drug List (PDL).

Here are some questions to ask your healthcare provider.

  • Do I need to keep a diary of my symptoms?
  • How many allergy tests will you be doing? How many are scratch tests? How many are intradermal tests?
  • What are my follow-up plans and what symptoms should I report before my next appointment?


Also known as:

Allergy Symptoms
Allergy Shots
Allergy Injections
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