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Allergy Shots

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When Should I Call My Doctor?

Call your doctor and go to the nearest emergency room if you develop shortness of breath, tight throat, or any other symptoms that worry you after getting your shot.

Do I Have to Get a Shot?

Some allergists offer drops under the tongue instead of shots. It’s called oral or sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT). Like allergy shots, it exposes your body to an allergen, so you can gradually get used to it. You can do it at home. 

Also, the FDA has approved three under-the-tongue tablets that can be taken at home. The prescription tablets, called Grastek, Ragwitek, and Oralair, are used for treating hay fever and work the same way as shots and drops -- the goal is to boost a patient’s tolerance of allergy triggers.

 

What Is Rush Immunotherapy?

It’s a faster way to get to a maintenance dose, but it is riskier. During the first part of the treatment, you get doses of the allergen every few hours instead of every few days. It’s usually done under very close monitoring so that doctors can keep an eye on you, because there’s a greater chance that you’ll have a body-wide reaction. That can be dangerous. In some cases, you may get medications before you get the dose of the allergen, to reduce the risk of a reaction.

Who Should Not Get Allergy Shots?

They may be more risky for people with heart or lung disease, or who take certain medications. Be sure to tell your allergist about your health and any medicines you take, so you can decide if allergy shots are right for you.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD on October 16, 2012
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