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Allergy FAQs

This section contains some of the most commonly asked questions in the clinic and allergy department. It will be updated frequently with new questions.

How long will it take for immunotherapy to become effective?

Many people believe if they take an allergy shot or drops, they will not get sick that week. Well, that is just not how it works. It will take least 3-6 months before you'll experience benefit.

If I start immunotherapy, will I need to take medications?

Most patients need both initially. Allergy medications are like a weekly pay check, “the money you live on now” to control current symptoms. Allergy shots are like saving for retirement, “the money for the future” to build up a tolerance. The more consistent you are in saving, the less dependent you will be on a paycheck in the future. The same is true for allergy.  If you consistently take immunotherapy for 3-5 years, you will be less dependent on medications.

What are the differences between Subcutaneous and Sublingual Immunotherapy?

Type of Immunotherapy

SCIT (shots)

SLIT (drops under tongue)

Frequency

Once a week

Daily

Duration

Years

3-5 Years

Effectiveness

About 80% of patients respond

Appears similar to SCIT

Cost

Coverage based on policy
Patients may pay weekly copays and deductibles

Not covered by insurance
Costs equal or less than many patient's out of pocket with insurance coverage

Safety

Very rare anaphylaxis

Almost no anaphylaxis

Location of Therapy

In office with 20 minute wait

Home based treatment

Side Effects

Rare side effects of rash, fatigue, malaise, etc.

Very rare symptoms, tingling in the mouth


Can I take immunotherapy when I am pregnant?

Allergy shots or allergy drops may be continued for patients that become pregnant while they are on therapy. The strength of subcutaneous allergen mix will be maintained constant until delivery of the baby. Advance can occur if necessary at that point. Patients will not be started on either allergy shots or drops during pregnancy.