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Itching for Allergy Relief

Allergy Shots

People who don't respond to either OTC or prescription medications, or who suffer from frequent complications of allergic rhinitis, may be candidates for immunotherapy, commonly known as allergy shots.

According to NIAID, about 80 percent of people with hay fever will experience a significant reduction in their symptoms and their need for medication within a year of starting allergy shots.

"Discuss the option of immunotherapy with your doctor thoroughly because immunotherapy is not for everybody, and there is a significant time commitment involved," Chowdhury says.

The process involves receiving injections of small amounts of allergens that are considered to be responsible for your symptoms. The doses are gradually increased so that the body builds up immunity to the allergens. The injections are given over at least three to five years. Discontinuation is based on having minimal symptoms over two consecutive seasons of exposure to allergens.

For more information about topics for your health, visit the FDA Consumer Information Center (www.fda.gov/consumer). 

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