Anyone done allergy shots? Experiences?

dia99dia99 Posts: 1,998Registered Users
I had the allergen tests done a couple of years ago and was allergic to all 60 things they pricked me with. On the food test, I wasn't allergic to anything :).

I am thinking it's a good time to pursue allergy shots now that I'm done with school and have a more regular schedule. But, I'm not thrilled about going to the doctor's office twice a week forever.

What were your experiences with allergy shots? How long ago did you do this, and did it resolve your allergy issues? Are you happy with the results?
People rise to the standard expected of them. GC

Comments

  • ninja dogninja dog Posts: 23,780Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I did it years ago. I remember it helping at the time, but I didn't keep up with the process.

    The scratch test was worse than the shots.
  • misspammisspam Posts: 5,318Registered Users
    I did allergy shots for 10 years or so. In my case they helped only mildly at first. I stopped 2 years ago because I was not seeing any improvement. Everyone has individualized experiences with immunotherapy.

    Initially, you do need to go in twice weekly as they are building up to your maintenance dose. After a few months, I went only once a week. Sometimes when they tweak your serum to a stronger dose, you need to do twice weekly again for a short period of time.

    My best experience with immunotherapy was with a holistic doctor who did the testing, ordered the vials of serum, and I was able to take the serum home with me, keep it in the refrigerator, and self-administer. The serum was not an injectable but something taken under the tongue. I had a very dramatic improvement in my allergy symptoms and was able to stop taking all my allergy/asthma meds. It is hard to find anyone who does oral immunotherapy but it's worth a shot.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • cymprenicympreni Posts: 9,609Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I did it for a while, but didn't finish. The shots weren't bad. No appointment needed, just went in, got a quick muscular shot, wait like 10 minutes, show the nurse, then you're gone.

    I only kept it up for a few months because I changed jobs and I couldn't fit it in my schedule anymore, but I felt it really helped. I broke out into really bad hives twice in 2 or 3 weeks. The second time while I was on heavy duty medication to prevent them. After the second break out, I referred for an immediately appointment with a specialist. I got all the testing done and my vax pretty quickly. After I started the vax I was able to been weened off the one medicine, and I've had very few outbreaks since.
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I've haven't had the therapy, but I've given thousands of allergy injections. It's usually a sub-cutaneous injection (into the fat layer), not intra-muscular. Immunotherapy does work, but it's not a miracle cure. You can get marked improvement, but probably not a cure. It takes years of committment, and you need a really good allergist who is committed to you, not just a money-maker allergist.
  • dia99dia99 Posts: 1,998Registered Users
    Thank you, everyone!

    The allergist I went to before for the tests is super nice, as is his whole staff. When I called today, after 2 years, his receptionist remembered me immediately and asked about Dia :). So, that was a good sign! He was recommended to me by my dentist, who's given me great referrals for getting a keloid removed, braces, and the allergist.

    I am really not into the visits, but his office is less than 2 miles from my job, so I'm hoping I could go on the way to work or at lunch time. And, they have weekend hours, too, and are also only a couple of miles from my house. So, I don't think location could be better/more convenient unless I worked at a doctor's office or had one in my building.

    I think I'm going to try it. RCW, if there is even some improvement I think I'd be happy. I would actually be happy if just taking medication would actually alleviate symptoms, and ecstatic if I could take less medicine!

    Thanks again!
    People rise to the standard expected of them. GC
  • newcurlynewcurly Posts: 1,310Registered Users
    I had them as a teenager (age 13-18 ). My allergies were horrendous before. I would, on average, miss about 25 days of school a year before starting allergy shots. By the time I finished high school it was down to 10 or less. I went in weekly for the first few months, then tapered down to once a month by the end. I stopped at age 18. My allergist wanted me to keep getting them, but I was leaving for college and wanted to be done. They drastically improved my overall health.

    I'm not sure how they do them now, but when I was getting them I had to get the injections then wait 30 minutes to have my reactions measured and documented - to see whether I was tolerating it well enough to move up to higher doses. They wanted to monitor people for severe reactions immediately after, so even if I could have documented the reactions myself I still would have had to stay. Even though the office was 5 minutes from my house, each day of injections ended up being at least an hour of my time.
    "Well I love that dirty water. Oh, Boston, you're my home!"
  • NetGNetG Posts: 8,116Registered Users
    I got them for a while, and while they really helped me physically, they screwed me up emotionally. My emotional state is very strongly tied to my immune system; I get super depressed feeling right before getting sick, for example. Well, the entire time I was getting the shots I was overly emotional, and it wasn't worth the improvement in my physical health for the drag on my emotional health.
    The pews never miss a sermon but that doesn't get them one step closer to Heaven.
    -Speckla

    But at least the pews never attend yoga!
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    newcurly wrote: »
    I'm not sure how they do them now, but when I was getting them I had to get the injections then wait 30 minutes to have my reactions measured and documented - to see whether I was tolerating it well enough to move up to higher doses. They wanted to monitor people for severe reactions immediately after, so even if I could have documented the reactions myself I still would have had to stay. Even though the office was 5 minutes from my house, each day of injections ended up being at least an hour of my time.


    Oh, yes, that's how they're done. You need to be monitored for at least 30 minutes after the shot, otherwise you could just do them at home...which you can't, because you don't want to die alone at home from anaphalaxis.

    So, no matter how convenient the location, it's still a 45-60+ minute committment twice-weekly/weekly/bi-weekly/monthly. For years. Bring your knitting, or a book. :)
  • MaloryMalory Posts: 379Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I started allergy shots many years ago but I gave up because I didn't have the time for it.

    I remember you went into a room where you would sign your name in a book and just wait and wait until it was your turn.

    I was the only adult in an enormous waiting room full of kids where there would be Barney videos playing the whole time.

    After a few sessions of sitting around for over an hour (even though I did have an appointment to arrive at a certain time) listening to Barney, then spending five minutes actually getting my shots, I gave up. You do have to sit around for a while before you go to make sure you don't have a bad reaction.

    I suppose it is OK for children, but it is not a good idea for an adult with responsibilities who doesn't have time to sit around in waiting rooms for hours when there is no emergency. I guess that was why I was the only adult there.

    I would not trust that you would get to work or back from lunch on time, unless the place that you go to uses a different system than the first-come-first-served one that I experienced.
  • LizardlooLizardloo Posts: 75Registered Users
    I've been doing allergy shots for awhile now and have had great I prove net in my symptoms. I'm down from 3 meds to just a nose spray and my asthma has improved as well.
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  • LizardlooLizardloo Posts: 75Registered Users
    Or improvement goofy autocorrect
    Mod CG
    Normal 2b, my hair loves protein right now!

    LowPoo/NoPoo: Renpure (green or red), BB, Deva NoPoo
    RO: OneC, Y2Cu
    Leave In: Y2Cu, CG Beauticulrs
    Style: CIAB, Garnier pure clean gel, AIF, SS CEJ, CCCL
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