Subcutaneous Immunotherapy (SCIT) is one of the most traditional forms of immunotherapy. This form of treatment is often referred to as “Allergy Shots” and is a very common treatment for environmental allergies.
After testing for reactions to environmental allergens, Columbia Asthma and Allergy Clinic has the means to create custom bottles which include extracts of the allergens that are causing reactions. Doses from these bottles are then injected into the arm to stimulate the immune system. The goal of SCIT is to eventually build up an immunity to the environmental allergens to prevent reactions (such as itchy eyes, runny nose, itchy throat, etc.). This is a time consuming process, but once a patient reaches maintenance, they may notice significant improvement in their environmental allergy symptoms.
For a patient undergoing SCIT, they may expect to be receiving allergy shots twice a week for approximately 6-7 months (may vary from person to person). Once maintenance is reached, a patient will have to come in once monthly for their maintenance dose. After about 3-4 years, there is a chance that the patient’s environmental allergies may change and may require further SCIT treatment.