A Recognized Treatment Method

Allergy shots, which are also called allergen immunotherapy, are a popular treatment method that many people rely on to help control or event prevent their allergies in the hopes that they won't need to continue taking allergy medication forever.

The use of allergy shots or immunotherapy has been a subject of controversy in the past. But today, most medical experts recognize this form of treatment as a respected and often effective approach to help people manage airborne allergies. (It is important to note, though, that this method is usually not effective for food allergies and can even be dangerous.)

Everyone is Different

Whether you are a good candidate for allergy shots depends on many factors. If your symptoms are readily controlled by medications and you don't get serious side effects, you may not need immunotherapy. But if other treatment options have not been effective and your allergy symptoms are interfering with your daily activities, your doctor may well recommend that you try this method.

What to Expect

Allergy shots can make a significant difference in keeping allergy symptoms under control for many patients. The way that these work is by exposing you to small, controlled amounts of substances you are allergic to via injections. The amount of allergens used increases over time in order to help your body to build up a tolerance. While this can be an effective approach, experts warn that this doesn't mean that your allergies are guaranteed to completely disappear.   What you can expect, though, is that over time, your allergies and related asthma symptoms will improve and you may need to take less allergy medication — or even be able to forego allergy medication completely -- once you reach your injection maintenance dose.


How well your body will respond to allergy shots can depend on a variety of things. The severity of your allergies, the dose of injections you receive, how frequently you get the shots, how long you work to desensitize your body through the shots and the length of time you continue to receive maintenance treatment can all contribute to your end results.

Some patients do find that they get relief from their allergies while they undergo allergen immunotherapy and the benefits continue long after treatment ends. In other cases, however, patients may experience a reoccurrence of symptoms when they discontinue the shots. If you fall into the second group, you can discuss your options with your doctor and figure out the most effective approach for your specific situation.