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Allergy Shots Injections Allergies Immunotherapy Treatment

As a physician assistant specializing in allergy, immunology, and asthma, my belief is that for a select few, allergy shots or immunotherapy is the treatment of choice. The patient is first treated for symptoms conservatively. If the allergy symptoms do not remit, then the choice may be to desensitize by administering injections of the specific allergens causing teh allergic reaction, in hopes of attaining a dose high enough to decrease an allergic reaction. As of now, desensitization is done only for aeroallergens, and not foods, but the time will soon come.
Treatment with immunotherapy is for those patients who have fallen under certain suggested guidelines; first, they need to have failed on conservative therapies. Second, they need to have the time to invest. Injections are weekly for six months, then biweekly, then monthly for 3-5 years. Thirdly, their symptoms need to impeed their quality of life. And lastly, their symptoms need to exist at least 6 months out of the year. IF these general guidelines are in place, shots may be a treatment of choice.
It is best to take an antihistamine prior to each injection in order to minimize a major syusteminc reaction. As well, it is advised that the patient wait in the office for 30 minutes post injection for the same reason. The allergist will combine one or more allergewns in the syringe, and inject into the upper arm. It is mildly painful for a moment, but tolerable. If the patient does not have a reaction, and can come within the time fram suggestd by the allergist, then the doses will increase exponentially until an optimal dose is reached. An optimal dose is one where either the patient is no longer symptomatic, or the top dose the office uses has been reached. The patient then continues to receive monthly injections at a maintenance dose for the next three to five years, when they will be retested and their symptoms assessed. A patient who may have had their symptoms alleviated may goo off of injections for six months to a year afterward. At that time, they will be brought into the office for reevaluation. Patients have claimed that when they finished their course of immunotherapy, they maintained a symptom free life for many years afterwasrd, anf free of assistive medications. But, like anything dealing with such a wide range of people, the results vary from patient to patient. I have found great success with this treatment plan, if the patient is willing and is an appropriate candidate.