When given over a period of time, allergy shots can stop or reduce the symptoms of allergy attacks.
Why choose UPMC in Central Pa. for allergy shots?
The allergy, asthma, and immunology specialists at UPMC in central Pa. understand that allergies can be inconvenient, uncomfortable, and in some cases, potentially life-threatening. That’s why we provide allergen immunotherapy (allergy shots) to help stop or reduce symptoms of allergies.
Our specialists offer allergy shots as part of a comprehensive, personalized treatment plan that may combine allergy medications, emergency medications, and patient education to help you get the long-term allergy relief you need.
What are allergy shots?
Allergy shots are injections that you receive at regular intervals over a period of time. These injections contain a small amount of the allergen, or the substance that causes your allergy. When a small dose of the allergen is injected into your body, it stimulates your immune system but does not cause an allergic reaction.
Over time, your health care provider will slowly increase the amount of the allergen in your allergy shots, which allows your body to get used to the allergen. After your body becomes used to the allergen, your allergy symptoms may improve.
Allergy shots are used to treat indoor and outdoor environmental allergies and insect sting allergies. They are not recommended for food allergies.
What happens during allergen immunotherapy?
Allergy shots are given in the upper arm and are administered on a schedule that has two phases:
- The buildup phase. During the buildup phase, you will receive more frequent shots (usually 1 to 2 times per week) and your doctor will gradually increase the allergen dose with each shot. The buildup phase usually lasts 3 to 6 months.
- The maintenance phase. During the maintenance phase, you will receive less frequent shots (usually about once per month) and should start to experience relief from allergy symptoms. The maintenance phase lasts 5 years or longer.
To get the maximum benefit from allergy shots, you need to follow your allergy shot schedule and avoid missing doses.
What can I expect after allergen immunotherapy?
You will need to stay at the doctor’s office for about 30 minutes after each allergy shot so your doctor can monitor you for signs of an allergic reaction.
How long does it take to for allergy shots to work?
Most people notice some improvement in their allergy symptoms within one year of starting allergen immunotherapy. By the third year of allergen immunotherapy, most people no longer have serious allergic reactions.
Some people can stop having allergy shots after a few years of treatment and no longer experience symptoms, but other people need ongoing allergen immunotherapy to prevent allergy symptoms from coming back. Your doctor will adjust your treatment plan depending on your unique needs.
Specialty Care ENT – UPMC
508 S. Washington Street
Gettysburg, PA 17325
Specialty Care ENT – UPMC
250 Fame Avenue
Suite 201, (Entrance A)
Hanover, PA 17331
UPMC Allergy and Immunology
Located at UPMC Outpatient Center
21 Waterford Drive
Mechanicsburg, PA 17050
Need more information?
Many of our providers offer video visits. Call the office or schedule via your patient portal.