Allergy Shots – Subcutaneous Immunotherapy (SCIT)

Overview

Allergy shots are the most commonly used and most effective form of allergy immunotherapy. They are indicated for the treatment of allergic conditions affecting the nose and eyes (allergic rhino-conjunctivitis), ears (allergic otitis media), lungs (bronchial asthma) as well as for severe insect sting allergy. Shots are effective in treating reactions to many allergens, including trees, grass, weeds, moldhouse dustanimal dander, and insect stings.

An extract of a small amount of the allergen is injected into the skin of the arm. An injection may be given once a week (sometimes more often) for about seven months, after which injections can be administered every two weeks. Eventually, injections can be given every four weeks. The duration of therapy may be three to five years, sometimes longer.

SCIT vs SLIT: What’s the Difference?

Allergy shots, also known as subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT), have been a proven allergy treatment for more than 100 years. They are the only treatment that changes the immune system. They prevent new allergies and asthma from developing and have a lasting beneficial effect, well after therapy has been completed.

Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) is a newer form of immunotherapy. Instead of injecting an allergen under the skin, small doses are administered under the tongue. There are two types of SLIT – tablets and drops – but the only forms that have currently been approved by the FDA are tablets for ragweed, grass pollen and dust mite

Allergy sufferers are typically allergic to more than one allergen. Shots can provide relief for more than one allergen, while SLIT treatments are limited to a single allergen. In addition, allergy shots have been proven effective in treating allergies to ragweed relatives like avocado, melon and some other fruits. It is unclear whether the new allergy tablets for ragweed will offer this protection.

Life’s too short to struggle with allergies and wonder about treatment options. Find answers with an allergist.

What Are the Risks of Allergy Shots?

There is a small danger of anaphylactic shock (a severe allergic reaction) shortly after an injection. Therefore, allergy shots are given in an allergist’s office.

Can Allergy Shots Relieve Asthma?

Allergy shots are effective in the treatment of allergic asthma. Allergy shots can help relieve the allergic reactions that trigger asthma episodes, thereby enhancing breathing and decreasing the need for asthma medications.

FOLLOW UP APPOINTMENTS ARE IMPORTANT Please schedule your follow up appointment for two weeks from your surgery.  This is usually done at the time of your surgery scheduling or at your pre-operative appointment.  If it was not please call to schedule or have them schedule when you are in the hospital recovering from your surgery.

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