Allergen immunotherapy simply means allergy shots. Immunotherapy helps reduce your allergy symptoms by changing the way your immune system responds to the allergens. Immunotherapy is a long-term commitment. A majority of patients that receive allergy injections on a regular basis experience a significant decrease in allergy symptoms and medication use.
- Injection treatment is used to obtain long-term improvement or reversal of an allergic problem. It consists of regular injection(s) of the substances to which you are allergic and which are causing your symptoms. The substances (or allergens) to be injected are determined by the doctor after reviewing your history, skin tests, and lab work.
- With immunotherapy, the doctor will see you approximately every 6 to 8 visits so she can monitor your progress. However, you must see the doctor if you are having symptoms from your allergy. The injections do not cause symptoms except in very rare cases. (See below.)
- As progress is made, the frequency of injections may become less; this usually does not occur until maintenance level is reached. (Sometime a full year of treatment may need to be carried out to reach this point.)