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Anyone gotten allergy shots?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm considering getting a referral to an allergen specialist about getting allergy shots done, and before I did, I was curious to talk to others who have done them - why you decided to get them (your symptoms before) and how much they have helped you since.

My allergies have been getting worse over the years, and now I can chalk up asthma symptoms, runny nose/itchy eyes, rib cartilage inflammation, horrible congestion, and a terrible annual cough up to them. It seems logical to go for the shots if they can help even some of those things, but I thought I'd see what others have done.

I just found out my insurance should cover it all, and that my on-campus health clinic can do the shots, so its sounding even more appealing.

Thanks for the input!
post #2 of 10
I got the allergy shots and now I have symptoms about 2 weeks in the spring and that is it. I finished the shots 3 years ago and I am very happy. I had all the problems - sneezing, runny nose, hives, etc. I took me longer to get the regimen done because I had to travel on business.
The shots were well worth it. I still have a nasal spray and decongestants but I don't need them all the time.
I got the shots because we moved here from Boston/New York and my allergies got worse. If it moved or grew in our county, I was allergic to it. The allergist gave me shots so I wouldn't be allergic to cats.
Anyway, very happy.
post #3 of 10
Yes, I am currently getting shots.

How much do you know about allergy shots? They are not a quick-fix and are a long-term commitment.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
I know a bit, and I know they're a long term thing, which is why I had never gotten them done before. But now that I'm out of breath when I'm outside longer than 10 minutes in the winter and have to possibility of the rib inflammation year round, its becoming much more appealing. I've finally gotten to the point where I'd rather have the shot every week or so than deal with it all.

Is there anything in particular you think I should know before deciding?
post #5 of 10
OK, as long as you know that there are a long-term commitment then it is worth it to go and hear what they have to say. Many people don't and are horrified that it takes years.

You start off at getting shots once a week, then once every two week, then once every three weeks, then once every four weeks ,etc. I currently go every three weeks and get four shots at a time - cat, grass, mites and ragweed.

You will be extensively tested to see what you are allergic to. You will not be allowed to take any allergy meds for at least 48 hours before the test. That is the worst part. Once they have determined what you are allergic to and you are a good candidate for shots, they will begin by injecting you with a very small amount of the allergen. You will have to sit in the waiting room for about a half hour after each injection to make sure you don't have a reaction. You will also be required to keep an eye on the injection site for reactions. If you have a reaction that is too large, they will cut back on the dosage the following week. If not, they will increase the amount. This phase is called "Build up" and takes about 6 months. After you reach the strongest amount or your "maintenance dose", you will start to get shots every two weeks.

I personally am not getting they benefits I had hoped to gain from the shots, but I am getting some benefit so I feel it is worth continuing
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
That actually sounds better than I had expected - some people told me they were getting weekly booster shots, even a long time into the shots. The frequent shots and the waiting period are why I was very happy to find out today that they offered them at the on-campus clinic - less driving around time for me that takes out of my grad work schedule.

I tried mentioning it to one of the doctors before, but she didn't seem to feel they would help me. But if all my problems are due to various allergies, then shouldn't getting rid of/ lessening the underlying allergic reaction at least help those problems? Seemed logical to me....

Thanks for the help so far! I'm still interested in hearing how they've helped/haven't helped others!
post #7 of 10
yup i used to get them too! I got them from when i was 7 years old till i was 19 years old. I was allergic to EVERYTHING under the sun, including cats, and anything with mold or fungus.

I discontinued them at 19, and have only needed a allergy pill every once in a blue moon. I wouldnt say they "cure" you but they help build up a immunity to whatever your allergic too. They are worth it
post #8 of 10
Originally Posted by Sandtigress View Post
I tried mentioning it to one of the doctors before, but she didn't seem to feel they would help me. But if all my problems are due to various allergies, then shouldn't getting rid of/ lessening the underlying allergic reaction at least help those problems? Seemed logical to me....
An allergist would be the best to tell you. Sometimes they like to see how you respond to allergy meds before you start getting injections. It's worth it to go t the allergist just to find out what you are allergic to.
post #9 of 10
I agree that it is a long-term commitment. It took me two years after having to start from the beginning twice due to travel for work. Well worth it, though. I am one of the "success" stories.
post #10 of 10
I've had them, it is a really long term committment.

Double check to see if your insurance will cover them.

I found the shots to be very irritating, literally - they just barely prick under the skin. And if you get more than one............and they get all tingly and itchy.

But some allergy doctors don't like to do immunotherapy stuff right off the bat.

I thought it was worth it, but my college made it pretty much impossible for me to get them so I stopped. I wish I hadn't though.
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