Skip to content

Allergies Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Should You Get Allergy Shots?


WebMD Magazine - Feature

Allergy shots can’t cure your allergies, but they can really cut down on your symptoms.

The shots are best if you have severe allergies or symptoms that last more than 3 months every year, says Michael Land, MD. They can also help if you can't take allergy medicines because of side effects or interactions with your other medications.

Recommended Related to Allergies

Staying Active and in Control Despite Their Allergies

For people who have allergies, the challenges of remaining physically active can easily outweigh the benefits to their health and mental well-being. Running, swimming, and even gardening -- how enjoyable can these activities be when just taking a breath is so exhausting? But having seasonal allergies doesn't mean you have to become a shut-in. Nor does it mean, even in environments where pollen and other irritants are plentiful, that you have to give up exercise. "Allergies are not a disability,”...

Read the Staying Active and in Control Despite Their Allergies article > >

They are a form of immunotherapy, which teaches your immune system not to overreact to allergy triggers. Each shot contains a little bit of your allergy trigger, like pollen. Over time the dose gets bigger, so your body slowly and safely becomes less sensitive to it.

In the buildup phase, you'll get the shots once or twice a week for a few months. Some people start to feel relief within the first few weeks, though it may take several months.

When you reach the most effective dose, called your maintenance dose, you'll get a shot every 2 to 4 weeks for 3 to 5 years. Eventually, you may not need the shots at all, unless you move to an area where the pollen is different.

In most cases, allergy shots don't cause side effects, other than redness and slight swelling of the skin where you were injected. Because there's a small chance that you could have an allergic reaction, you’ll get allergy shots at a doctor's office and stay there for about 30 minutes afterward.

Reviewed on February 27, 2015

Today on WebMD

man blowing nose
Make these tweaks to your diet, home, and lifestyle.
Allergy capsule
Breathe easier with these products.
 
cat on couch
Live in harmony with your cat or dog.
Woman sneezing with tissue in meadow
Which ones affect you?
 

blowing nose
Article
woman with sore throat
Article
 
lone star tick
Slideshow
Woman blowing nose
Slideshow
 

Send yourself a link to download the app.

Loading ...

Please wait...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

cat lying on shelf
Article
Allergy prick test
VIDEO
 
Man sneezing into tissue
Assessment
Woman holding feather duster up to face, twitching
Quiz