Allergy Injections/Immunotherapy
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Immunology/Allergy
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“Allergy shots” or allergy desensitization is a form of desensitizing a patient with allergic disease to their allergen causing their illness. These injections work by influencing your immune system slowly to become tolerant of your known allergy(ies). They are indicated for the treatment of allergic nasal conditions, i.e. hayfever, insect sting allergy and in some mild cases of asthma. There are various types and protocols for administering these injections. The medical terminology for allergen shots is SubCutaneous allergen ImmunoTherapy or SCIT. 


Year long allergy injections for inhalant allergies:

These are the traditional allergy injections and require weekly “build up” injections for an average of 14-18 weeks. At that point, a patient reaches their “maintenance” dose, as determined either by the allergy schedule or your reactions. Allergy injections then continue every 3 weeks at the maintenance dose for a duration of 3 to 5 years, depending on a patient’s response.  This method is the closest to a “cure” to a patient’s allergies and is the preferred long term therapy. 


Pre-seasonal allergy injections for inhalant allergies:

These injections are an alternate to the above year long shots.  They are indicated for the treatment of seasonal allergies to one type of allergen, i.e. grass or ragweed and are usually beneficial for one allergy season at a time. A patient receives a series of 6-8 weekly injections before the known allergy season.


HONEY BEE OR INSECT STING INJECTIONS:

For patients who have been diagnosed with severe and potentially   life threatening allergic reactions to insect stings, (i.e. yellow jackets or bees) these allergy injections will significantly reduce the risk of future severe reactions if stung again.  They require weekly build up injections until a maintenance dose is achieved. At that point, injections continue monthly. The usual treatment period is for 5 years.


SIDE EFFECTS:

Prior to starting any form of allergy injections, it is important to be aware of the possible side effects that may occur from allergy injections. These include:

Local allergic swelling that is common, usually 95+% of the time:

o Itching and redness over the injection site.


Systemic allergic reactions that are rare, less than 1% of the time. These may include any of the following:

oSkin reactions: generalized hives,

oGI reactions: nausea/vomiting,

oCardiovascular reactions: dizziness due to lowered blood pressure which may lead to shock

oRespiratory symptoms: throat tightening, cough, wheeze and/or shortness of breath


Very rarely, 1 in 2.5 million injections, in severe allergic patients with uncontrolled asthma, allergy injections have led to fatalities. 


The goal of SCIT is to improve your allergy symptoms within one year of their commencement. The duration of therapy varies dependent on your response to therapy and ranges between 3 to 5 years in total. If after one year of injections there is no clinical improvement, then please arrange a time with Dr. Ohayon to review whether there is benefit to continue.


If you have been considered for an allergy injection program and would like to proceed, please review and sign the consent for allergy injections before beginning. Please contact the office for the most up to date Consent Form.


Most third party insurance programs cover allergy injections.  Unfortunately, standard OHIP coverage does not. Patients are required to pay for their allergy injection preparation and may submit their receipt to their insurance provider for reimbursement.  

quick facts on allergy shots

Indications:

-Reduce hayfever

-Reduce risk of future severe allergic reactions to insect stings.

Types:

-Preseason (pollens only)

-Year long (pollens, animal hair and insect)


When they Start:

1) Pre-season Tree: Feb

2) Pre-season Tree-Grass Mix end of Feb

3) Pre-season Grass

4) Pre-season Ragweed


Before You Start a Program:

You will need permission to ensure you are not taking beta blockers or ACE inhibitors.


On the Day of Your Shot:

-Take an antihistamine 1-2 hours before your shot.
-Bring your mouthpiece as your breathing will be checked prior to your injection to ensure you are stable (there will be a $1 fee for replacement if forgotten).

-Cancel your shot if you are sick with a cold.

-Always eat or drink before your injection.


You will need to remain in our office for a mandatory 30 minutes monitoring period following your allergy injection.


PLEASE INFORM US:

If you feel sick in any way the hour AFTER your injection, especially after leaving the doctor’s office.

If you have any questions, please contact our office.

Click here to view the latest schedule for allergy injectionsSchedule_for_Allergy_Injection_Clinics.htmlSchedule_for_Allergy_Injection_Clinics.htmlshapeimage_7_link_0shapeimage_7_link_1

All about allergy desensitization/IMMUNOTHERAPY (“Allergy Shots”)


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