I’m already taking 3 medications for seasonal allergies, and still experiencing symptoms. I have an appointment tomorrow with my allergist to discuss the possibility of allergy shots. Anyone here gone through either the regular allergy shots, or the accelerated regimen? I’d appreciate any advice on what to expect and what I should ask, any anecdotes, etc.
Been there, done that. Some moderate success. I’m not familiar with the accelerated regime, but the first dose was some sort of souped up loading dose. They hit me with that and monitored me for 30 minutes or an hour before I went back to work. About 30 minutes after I got to work I had just about every reaction possible short of anaphylaxis. Redness, hives, itching, hot flashes, nasal drainage, phlegm in my throat, I was the poster boy for non-fatal allergic reactions. Fortunately the clinic was just across the parking lot so I walked over and they hit me with a dose of epinephrin and everything was fine.
Before treatments I was pretty much completely unable to eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Now I can eat most of them in moderation. There are still a few exceptions that are off limits. But all in all, I’m happy with my results.
I’m on year three of allergy shots. They are mostly for non-seasonal allergies: dust, dust mites, dogs, cats, cockroaches (yuck!). It’s really hard to say how well they work, because the change, if it occurs, should be so non-dramatic. I don’t really remember exactly how bad I was three years ago. At the end of the year, I am being retested; that will give me actual data. My gut instinct is that it is helping me with cats, which was the allergy that was the most sensitive. I still get seasonal allergies, but to be honest, I don’t know if the shots are for those or not.
It’s not really a big deal to get the shots. Once a week for about six months is a pain, but you get to once a month in about a year. The needles are tiny so they don’t hurt much but as your dosage goes up, the lump they leave behind will be a little painful for a couple of days.
Once, I had a reaction to the shots. It was a systemic, terrible itching, but not wheezing or anything. I was towards the end of my observation time, and when I spoke to the receptionist to say that I thought I might be having a reaction, it was like the SWAT team moving in. They had a “Bucket 'o Shock Treatment” at the ready. Getting shot up with epinephrine is wildly unpleasant, but not awful. They gave me an Epi-Pen and now I have to physically show it before they will give me a shot.
Thanks for the responses. Doesn’t sound too bad, and worth the effort and pain. I do realize it’s more common for non-seasonal allergies, but on my last visit the doctor did say I’m an “excellent candidate” for shots, whatever that means.
I’m also wondering how people handle long trips while taking shots. I usually have several week-long business trips a year.
I think your doctor means that you are an “Excellent candidate” to give him three to five years worth of cashflow. That’s not to say that it doesn’t work, but I just don’t know who hasn’t been told that they are an excellent candidate.
You can miss a week here and there. The way that it works is:
Week 1: Dose X
Week 2: Dose X+Y
Week 3: Dose X+2Y, etc.
If you miss a week, they will probably give you the last dosage again instead of increasing it, or maybe increasing it by 1/2 Y. So you’re not progressing much, but you aren’t losing anything either. also, if you have a reaction, they will back you off to a lower dosage and start increasing by a smaller amount.