Allergic Reactions Less Severe Or Gone For Years
A review of published studies showed that symptom relief continued for two to three years after allergy drop treatment was stopped after being taken for three years.
A lot of research has been done using allergy drops to treat a variety of allergens, but more is needed to determine its overall safety and effectiveness.
How Do Allergy Shots Help
Allergy shots contain a tiny amount of a purified form of the allergen causing problems. Doctors increase the dose slowly over the first 36 months. This lets the immune system safely adjust and build immunity to the allergens. This is called the buildup phase.
The highest effective safe dose becomes a child’s monthly maintenance dose. Health care providers give this to the child for about 3 to 5 years. Most kids will need fewer shots over time.
Some kids’ allergy symptoms ease during the buildup phase. Others don’t feel better until they’re into the maintenance phase. After years of getting allergy shots, some may have lasting relief from symptoms.
Benefits Of Allergy Immunotherapy
When oral medication and/or avoidance of allergens fail to control a patients allergic reaction, allergy, shots also known as immunotherapy or allergy desensitization therapy, may be the solution. There are several benefits for patients who get allergy shots and they include:
- Some people dont tolerate oral medications well. These patients might do better with allergy shots so long as needles and injections do not bother the individual. Though shots are taken on a weekly schedule that becomes monthly, after three to five years the shots may be ended when the response is permanent.
- While the cost of allergy shots is more expensive than oral over-the-counter medication, in the long run, allergy shots are less expensive than oral medications as patients do not need shots forever.
- Allergy medications taken by mouth treat the symptoms of allergies, but, allergy shots treat the causes of allergic responses. When immunotherapy is successful, patients enjoy a complete cure as the shots treat the underlying causes of allergies rather than the symptoms.
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Complications Of Subcutaneous Injection
If youll be doing this type of injection for more than one dose or for multiple days, youll need to rotate the injection sites. This means that you shouldnt inject medicine into the same spot twice in a row.
For example, if you injected medicine into your left thigh this morning, use your right thigh this afternoon. Using the same injection site over and over again can cause discomfort and even tissue damage.
As with any injection procedure, infection at the site of injection is a possibility. Signs of infection at the injection site include:
- severe pain
Allergy Shots For Children
As early as ages 3, kids can begin to develop seasonal allergies, leaving many parentswondering what is the best treatment? We also get asked often are allergy shots safe forchildren. Yes, they are, but this is something that needs to be discussed with your allergist.Children, like adults, sometimes develop a minor reaction near the site of the injectionimmediately after the allergy shot is given. Simply applying ice to the area and administering anantihistamine can reduce the swelling.
There are rare cases where children can have a more severe reaction, including hives, itchingacross the body, or difficulty breathing. These are less common but can occur. That is why itsbest to consult with your allergy specialist to determine if an allergy shot is appropriate for yourchild.
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Where Can I Give A Subcutaneous Injection
The following are sites where you can give a subcutaneous injection:
- Abdomen: Uncover your abdomen. You may give an injection within the following area: below the waist to just above the hip bone and from the side to about 2 inches from the belly button. Avoid the belly button.
- Thigh: Uncover the entire leg. Find the area halfway between the knee and hip and slightly to the side. Gently grasp the area to make sure you can pinch 1 to 2 inches of skin.
- Lower back: Uncover the back from the waist to the top of the buttocks. Imagine a line that runs across the back just above the crack between the buttocks. An injection may be given below the waist and above this line. Give the injection halfway between the spine and the side.
- Upper Arm: Uncover the arm to the shoulder. Have the person getting the injection stand with his hand on his hip. Stand next to and a little behind the person. Find the area halfway between the elbow and shoulder. Gently grasp the skin at the back of the arm between your thumb and first 2 fingers. You should be able to grasp 1 to 2 inches of skin.
They’re Not Just For Seasonal Allergies
Allergy shots can be effective for people with hay fever and other seasonal allergies, but they can also work for year-round indoor allergieslike mold, dust mites, and animal danderand allergies to insect bites or stings.
“In the case of stinging insects, the shots can be close to curative,” says Dr. Dziadzio. “That’s the one time I really push people to get the shots no matter what, because it’s such a dangerous allergy.” Allergy shots may also be a good choice for people who don’t like taking medications or can’t avoid the thing they’re allergic tolike a pet or the great outdoors.
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What Can Affect How Well They Work
The effectiveness of the treatment does vary. Often this is to do with the length of the program a person is undertaking or the dose of the allergen.
Some people will have lasting relief while others may have a relapse after treatment has stopped. If a person experiences no improvement after 12 months of allergy shots, it could be due to several factors:
- wrong dose of the allergen in the allergy shot
- missed allergens in the individual when they are first evaluated
- high levels of the allergen in the environment the person is in
- exposure to non-allergic triggers, such as tobacco smoke
If allergy shots are not working, for whatever reason, then an allergist or immunologist will be able to discuss alternative treatment options.
Normally, the only side effect that people experience after having an allergy shot is redness or swelling at the site of the injection. This can happen immediately after the injection or a few hours afterward.
In some cases, people can experience increased allergy symptoms, such as:
Anaphylactic shock needs to be treated immediately with an injection of epinephrine, which is also called adrenaline.
A second anaphylactic reaction called a biphasic reaction can occur up to 12 hours after the initial shock.
Allergy shots have traditionally been the most common form of immunotherapy and are known as subcutaneous immunotherapy or SCIT.
This treatment is when an allergen is injected under the skin.
How Often How Long And Symptom Relief
Most allergy drops are taken every three to seven days for three years. Youll usually have no or only minimal allergy symptoms the fourth year. Some people continue without symptoms indefinitely, but most have to start another course of allergy drops after two or three years because symptoms return.
If you have seasonal allergies , youll start using the allergy drops three to four months before allergy season starts and continue taking them until it ends. If youre allergic to something thats around all the time, like I dust mites, youll take them throughout the year.
Your allergy symptoms should begin to improve within a few months of starting allergy drops but getting the full benefit may take a year or more.
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Getting Your Allergy Shots
You will get your allergy shots at your provider’s office. They are usually given in the upper arm. The typical schedule is:
- For the first 3 to 6 months, you receive shots about 1 to 3 times a week.
- For the next 3 to 5 years, you receive the shots less often, about every 4 to 6 weeks.
Keep in mind that many visits are needed to get the full effects of this treatment. Your provider will assess your symptoms now and then to help decide when you can stop receiving the shots.
Medications Given Using A Subcutaneous Injection
Medications administered by subcutaneous injection include drugs that can be given in small volumes . Insulin and some hormones are commonly administered as subcutaneous injections.
Other drugs that need to be given very quickly can also be administered via subcutaneous injection. Epinephrine comes in an automated injector form, called an EpiPen, thats used to quickly treat severe allergic reactions. While its intended to be given intramuscularly, epinephrine will also work if given subcutaneously.
Some pain medications like morphine and hydromorphone can be given this way as well. Drugs that prevent nausea and vomiting like metoclopramide or dexamethasone can also be given via subcutaneous injection.
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What It’s Used For
Common allergic symptoms are sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes or asthma attacks. Allergy symptoms are caused by your body’s reaction to a substance that is inhaled, touched or eaten. Allergens cause no symptoms in a non-allergic person, but in an allergic person who is sensitized to that antigen, an immune reaction against the allergen causes symptoms.;
In allergic reactions, the body responds to the allergen in the same way it would respond to fight off infection by a parasite. The immune system recognizes the substance as foreign and activates an army of antibodies to eliminate the invader. The antibodies bind with the allergen and then trigger immune system cells to release chemicals, such as histamine. This release of histamine is what causes most allergy symptoms.
Allergy shots, also known as allergen immunotherapy, cause the body to stop generating symptoms after exposure to certain allergens. Tiny amounts of the offending substance are injected under the skin with each shot. The shots stimulate the immune system just a little each time. Gradually, over weeks and months, the amount of allergen is increased.;
This very constant, low-level exposure stimulates a different type of immune reaction against the allergen. This new pattern of immune reaction substitutes for and is less bothersome than a traditional allergic response.;
Avoidance of foods to which you are allergic currently the best strategy for preventing food allergy reactions.;
Which Allergies Can Allergy Shots Treat
Allergy shots cant treat all allergies, but they can help those with allergies to several different pollens including grasses, trees, and weeds. They are also beneficial for molds, house dust mites, cockroaches and pet dander.
If you have general insect allergies, including an allergy to yellow jackets, hornets, wasps, bees or fire ant, allergy shots could also be a good option.
If you struggle with seasonal allergies, talk to your doctor or allergist about immunotherapy injections.
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They’re A Big Time Commitment
Allergy shots are given in two phases. In the “build-up” phase, you’ll need a shot once or twice a week for about three to six months. After that, you’ll enter the “maintenance” phase and receive them less oftenabout once or twice a month, for several years.
Sticking to this schedule is important, for the shots’ effectiveness and to reduce your chances of having a bad reaction. “For some people it’s absolutely worth it, but some people just don’t have that time to spare,” says Dr. Dziadzio. And while the shots themselves only take a minute, you probably will have to wait those 30 minutes in your doctor’s office after each one.
Antihistamines Can Make Allergy Shots Easier
Taking an oral antihistamine before each shot can help reduce side effects and reactions. “We really encourage patients to take them beforehand, especially as they get closer to their maintenance dose and their local reactions can get pretty bad,” says Dr. Dziadzio.
And if that’s not enough reason to pop a pill beforehand, some research even suggests that pre-treatment with an antihistamine during the build-up phase of allergy shots can improve the shots’ effectiveness;too.
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Treating Severe Allergic Reactions
Some people with severe allergies may experience life-threatening reactions,;known as;anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock.
If you’re at risk of this, you’ll be given special injectors containing a medicine called adrenaline to use in an emergency.
If you develop symptoms of anaphylaxis, such as difficulty breathing, you should inject yourself in the outer thigh before seeking emergency medical help.
Itching And Swelling After Allergy Injections
As with allergy testing, allergy shots may cause itching and swelling at the injection site. These symptoms, which can start minutes or hours after the injection, tend to be more uncomfortable than painful.
There are a number of ways that may prevent or alleviate these symptoms, such as taking an antihistamine several hours before getting a shot. If the swelling does occur at the injection site, ice packs and pain killers such as Advil can usually help improve the localized swelling or discomfort.
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What Happens If My Cat Moves When I Give The Injection
Ideally have someone assist you while you give the injection, especially when you are just learning how to do it. Depending on the injection being given, try offering your cat a special food or treat as a distraction while you administer the injection. Some pet owners find that it is easier to give their cat an injection while she is eating a meal.
“Most pet owners find that their pet becomes more cooperative once a routine is established.”
What Exactly Are Allergy Shots
Allergieswhether they’re seasonal or year-roundcan put a serious damper on quality of life; in some cases, they can even be deadly. But for certain types of allergies, allergen immunotherapy can be a big help.
They may require a lot of time and effort, but the benefits of allergy shots can be life-changing and long-lasting for people of all ages. Their effectiveness for children and young adults is well known, and a 2016 study also found that they can be effective for older adults, as wellreducing symptoms of hay fever in people ages 65 to 75 by 55% after three years, and reducing the need for medication by 64%.
“Everyone is different, and it’s true that some people don’t have a good response,” Laura Dziadzio, MD, a pediatric allergist and assistant professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, tells Health. “But for others, it’s like night and day. I have lots of patients who were really miserable and are now doing much better, and can finally enjoy the things they couldn’t before.”
If you’ve tested positive for an allergy and are considering immunotherapy treatments, here are 10 things you should know.
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Hydrocortisone Injection May Cause Side Effects Tell Your Doctor If Any Of These Symptoms Are Severe Or Do Not Go Away:
- slowed healing of cuts and bruises
- thin, fragile, or dry skin
- red or purple blotches or lines under the skin
- skin depressions at the injection site
- increased body fat or movement to different areas of your body
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- inappropriate happiness
- extreme changes in mood changes in personality
- extreme tiredness
- abnormal skin patches in the mouth, nose, or throat
Hydrocortisone injection may cause children to grow more slowly. Your child’s doctor will watch your child’s growth carefully while your child is using hydrocortisone injection. Talk to your child’s doctor about the risks of giving this medication to your child.
People who use hydrocortisone injection for a long time may develop glaucoma or cataracts. Talk to your doctor about the risks of using hydrocortisone injection and how often you should have your eyes examined during your treatment.
Hydrocortisone injection may increase your risk of developing osteoporosis. Talk to your doctor about the risks of using this medication.
Hydrocortisone injection may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone .
Allergy Immunotherapy Administration Of Extracts Under Protocols From Allergists Not Privileged At The Northwestern University Health Service
Allergy immunotherapy is used to alter the immunologic response in allergic patients. The extracts used are individually prepared solutions supplied by allergists not privileged at the Northwestern University Health Service . It is the intent of NUHS to provide to patients the service of administrating these extracts under protocols written and provided by outside allergists.
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What Does The Allergist Do
Before starting immunotherapy, the allergist will take a complete medical history.
- Be sure to tell him or her about every medication you take, prescription and nonprescription, even those you take only occasionally.
- Report any vitamins, dietary supplements, herbal products, and other alternative therapies you take.
- Also report every allergy you know of.
- If you are a woman, it is essential that you tell your allergist if you are pregnant or have any plans to become pregnant in the foreseeable future. In this case, allergy shots might be better suited for another time. Based on your particular situation, the allergist will tell you your options for treatment of your allergies during pregnancy. In certain situations, allergy shots can be continued during pregnancy, if it is determined that the potential benefits outweigh the risk of an unlikely, but potentially severe, reaction to one of the shots.
- At first you will get the shots often, once or twice a week.
- After about 6-12 months, you will start maintenance therapy, which means a shot about every month or so.
- Most people continue to take maintenance therapy for 3-5 years.
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