But if you’re interested in exploring your options, you’ll find useful information about the different types of allergy immunotherapy below.
Discover the benefits of allergy immunotherapy and learn more about allergy shots and tablets below.
Discover the benefits of allergy immunotherapy and learn more about allergy shots and tablets below.Find Out More
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DISCLAIMER: It’s important to note this questionnaire is not a substitute for a medical consultation. The information given here is intended solely as a starting point to talk about allergy immunotherapy with your health care provider.
Allergy immunotherapy can stop or greatly reduce allergy symptoms and bring long-term relief. It’s made of the very substance you’re allergic to. Small doses given regularly desensitize your immune system.
Over time your body learns to tolerate the allergen instead of seeing it as threat. Desensitizing your body means sticking to a regular treatment plan, which may last several years. It’s a long-term game but it could be a long-term win.Find Out More
Typically, people spend more than 10 years trying to manage symptoms conventionally before starting allergy immunotherapy treatment. Don’t wait that long if you don’t have to.
Your healthcare provider will be able to determine which allergy immunotherapy, if any, is right for you. And guide you through the whole process.
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Allergy shots Allergy shots are injected in the arm just under the skin. They’re given at regular intervals at your doctor’s office. Usually, for 6-12 months they’re given weekly. This is known as the build-up phase. After that, allergy shots are usually given monthly. Overall, a plan typically lasts about 3-5 years.
Allergy tablets Allergy tablets are an at-home treatment. You take one fast dissolving tablet under the tongue every day. Overall, a plan typically lasts 3-5 years.
Allergy shots Injections are given regularly at the doctor’s office. You need to stay there for 30 minutes to be checked for any side effects.
Allergy tablets The first dose is given at the doctor’s office. You need to stay there for 30 minutes to be checked for any side effects. After that, you take a daily tablet at home.
Allergy shots A treatment plan typically involves weekly shots for 6-12 months. This is the build-up phase. The maintenance phase follows, usually with shots once a month. Overall, a plan usually lasts about 3-5 years.
Allergy tablets A treatment plan typically involves taking a daily tablet at home, either before or during the pollen season. Or all year-round depending on the type of tablet. Overall, a plan usually lasts 3-5 years.
Allergy shots Allergy shots are available for allergies to, for example:
Allergy tablets Allergy tablets are available for:
Allergy shots Improvement may start shortly after reaching the maintenance phase. That’s usually after 6-12 months.
Allergy tablets Pollen allergy: Improvement may start during first pollen season. Dust mites: Improvement may start as early as 8 weeks.
You may feel your symptoms are improving quite quickly with both types of allergy immunotherapy. But you must continue the treatment despite feeling better. Otherwise, all the work you’ve been doing to desensitize your body could be wasted and your immune system could relapse.
Local reactions around the site of the injection aren’t serious and usually don’t need medical treatment.
Allergy shots can cause a severe allergic reaction in rare cases. It doesn’t happen very often – about once in every 33,300 injections.
This type of allergic reaction (called anaphylaxis) can be serious or even life-threatening. There have been fatal and near-fatal systemic allergic reactions reported with allergy shots.
Most serious reactions develop in the first 30 minutes of the allergy shot. For this reason, it’s recommended you stay for at least 30 minutes at the doctor’s office after an injection.
Local reactions in or around the mouth aren’t serious and usually don’t need medical treatment. They also tend to happen at the start of allergy immunotherapy and less often after a couple of weeks.
Allergy tablets can cause a severe allergic reaction in extremely rare cases – about once in every 1 billion doses of allergy tablets under the tongue.
This type of allergic reaction (called anaphylaxis) can be serious or even life-threatening. There have been no fatal or near-fatal systemic allergic reactions reported with allergy tablets.
Most serious reactions develop in the first 30 minutes of taking the tablet. For that reason, you take the first dose at the doctor’s office. After that you take your tablets at home with an epinephrine pen at hand as a precaution.
If you have any concerns or more questions do talk them through with your healthcare provider before starting any treatment.
SOURCES: American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology “Immunotherapy Shared Decision-Making Tool” and Asthma Canada “Should I treat my allergies with immunotherapy?”