Allergen immunotherapy is the only proven way to actually treat allergies, other than complete allergen avoidance, and is available in two forms- allergy shots or dissolvable medication (pills).
Allergen Immunotherapy is a treatment that requires exposing the body periodically to doses of an allergen in an attempt to adapt the body’s immune system response to that allergen. Allergen Immunotherapy is always done under the supervision of a specialized medical practitioner.
How Long Does The Treatment Take?
In a Standard Allergen Immunotherapy Treatment Plan, the Allergist tailors the necessary serum mixture for each patient’s specific needs and on allergen(s) diagnosis. The initial weekly shots are used to introduce the body to the allergen. Initial weekly shots last for an average of 26 weeks, after which, monthly shots are administer for the next 3-5 years.
Patients are asked to remain in the JBN office for 30-40 minutes after receiving injections in case of adverse effects.
Post Injection Instructions
These instructions apply to all patients receiving Allergen immunotherapy treatment in the form of allergy shots. The “post-injection” protocol also applies to patients who are receiving Allergen Immunotherapy via dissolvable oral pills for the first time to monitor how the patient reacts to the treatment.
Before you leave the clinic, we would like to go over some important information. Our goal is to ensure your safety comes first at all times. If you experience any of the following symptoms after receiving an allergy shot, please seek immediate medical attention.
- Shortness of breath
- Wheezing/ coughing
- Tightness of chest
- Hoarse voice
- Bleeding or unusual bruising
- Chest cold (upper respiratory tract infection)
- Sinus problems
- Sore throat
- Any changes to skin’s appearance: hives, rash, itching, cool or clammy skin or a sunburnt appearance
- Swelling of the lips, eyes, tongue, throat, hands, feet, or genitals
- Dizziness, lightheadedness, or feeling faint
- Injection site reaction: pain, redness, swelling, or itching
- Flu-like symptoms (Viral infection)
Please follow these instructions closely upon leaving the clinic:
- Do not massage the area of the injection.
- Try not to engage in strenuous physical activity for 6 hours after the injection.
- Refrain from driving or operating machinery.
Be sure to advise your nurse of any concerns you may have regarding your medical condition. Your nurse will be more than happy to provide any additional information you may require.
Pre-Planned Rapid Dosing
This treatment option replaces the initial weekly shots with 5 pre-planned appointments (these visits must be booked with the JBN office in advance, and must be booked 10-16 days apart).
This treatment schedule is available to people who have rigid schedules, for people who are going away on vacation, or who are trying to get allergy protection quickly due to the upcoming commencement of peak allergy season.
Visit #1 injection – 3 shots done 30 minutes apart: 90-minute appointment
Visit #2 injection – 3 shots done 30 minutes apart: 90-minute appointment
Visit #3 injection – 2 shots done 30 minutes apart: 60-minute appointment
Visit #4 injection – 2 shots done 30 minutes apart: 60-minute appointment
Visit #5 injection – 2 shots done 30 minutes apart: 60-minute appointment
If at any time during the rushed allergen treatments schedule the patient’s body is unable to tolerate the fast build up, then the doctor will switch the patient back to the regular schedule, as seen above.
Pre-Seasonal Grass and Ragweed
Patients receiving allergen immunotherapy treatment for seasonal grass and ragweed allergies receive weekly shots prior to peek allergen season; ranging from 4-9 shots, depending on the patient.
Pre-Seasonal Grass: Injections start the last week of February
Pre-Seasonal Ragweed: Injections start the first week of June
Insect Venom Allergen Immunotherapy Schedule
When initially starting an allergen immunotherapy treatment for insect venom, allergy shots are given every week for 5 months.
Once the initial weekly shot period is over, a patient only needs one shot every month for the next 3-5 years.