Allergy shots, or subcutaneous immunotherapy, is a treatment offered at Columbia Allergy to manage your severe allergy symptoms caused by substances in your environment such as dust, pollens, molds, weeds, trees, cats, dogs, and more. Allergy shots may also be a recommended treatment for conditions like allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis (eczema), eye allergies, hives and rashes. This treatment works by desensitizing your immune system so that it does not overreact and cause symptoms when it comes in contact with an allergy. Our specialists at Columbia Allergy will create a custom shot recipe to target your specific allergens based on your allergy test results.
Each allergy shot contains a small dose of your custom allergens that will be used to slightly activate your immune system without causing a full allergic reaction. Subcutaneous immunotherapy treatment occurs in 2 stages:
- Buildup Phase
- The first stage is called the buildup phase, where you will come into the office at least once a week for an allergy shot. Each week your dose will be slightly increased to work towards desensitizing your immune system in a safe way. This phase typically lasts 7-12 months but can take longer if you are not tolerating the typical increases in your allergy shots each week.
- Maintenance Phase
- When you reach the maintenance phase, your dose stays the same and you will typically come into the office once a month for injection. During the maintenance phase, your body still receives exposure to your allergens to continue to train your immune system to not react to these substances long-term. Most patients will stay in the maintenance phase for 3-5 years before their treatment is completed.
We understand that allergy shots may be a difficult treatment to undergo due to the frequent appointments during the buildup phase. When it is not peak allergy season, we offer several solutions to this problem! You may be eligible to complete cluster shots, where you are given 2-3 doses in a single day each 30 minutes apart. You may also be eligible for rush shots, where you can receive a maximum of 10 doses in a day, all 30 minutes apart. Restrictions for these faster methods do apply, so ask your provider to see if this is an option for you!
If you are not able to commit to allergy shots due to time constraints, you may be a candidate for sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT), or even our ultrasound guided intralymphatic immunotherapy (ILIT) at our Fremont, CA office! If you are interested in our allergy shot treatment, call your nearest location or schedule an appointment online today!