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How do allergy shots work?

Allergy shots are a type of treatment called immunotherapy, which desensitizes your immune system so that it stops triggering allergic reactions.

When you receive allergy shots, your injections begin with a very small dose of your specific allergens, then Dr. Ispas gradually increases the dose in each subsequent shot until you reach an optimal dose.

As the doses increases, your immune system builds up a tolerance to the allergen. As a result, you stop having an allergic reaction, or your symptoms significantly diminish.

How are allergy shots administered?

Your allergy shots are administered on a regular schedule that proceeds through two phases:

Build-up phase

Dr. Ispas gives you gradually increasing doses of allergens once or twice a week to build up your tolerance. This phase lasts about three to six months until Dr. Ispas determines you’ve reached a maintenance dose.

Maintenance phase

During your maintenance phase, you’ll receive an allergy shot every two to four weeks, with each shot containing the same dose. This continues until you reach optimal symptom relief.

Although your allergy symptoms may improve during the first year, most patients are fully desensitized after two to three years of maintenance treatments.

Can my allergies be treated with allergy shots?

Allergy shots can be used to treat many different allergies, including:

  • Seasonal allergies caused by ragweed, tree, and grass pollen
  • Year-round allergies due to dust mites, mold, and pet dander
  • Insect stings including bees, wasps, red ants, and hornets

Although allergy shots are effective for most people, Dr. Ispas evaluates your symptoms and medical history before recommending immunotherapy.

What is rush immunotherapy?

Rush immunotherapy, also called rapid immunotherapy, accelerates the process so you get to your maintenance dose more quickly. It follows the same process — you’ll get multiple shots, with each one containing a higher dose of the allergen — but all your build-up phase allergy shots are administered over the course of one to three days.

What is cluster immunotherapy?

Cluster immunotherapy also hastens the process, but the shots are spread out a little more than for rush immunotherapy. During cluster immunotherapy, you’ll receive several allergy shots on nonconsecutive days, so your maintenance dose is usually reached within four to eight weeks.

You don’t need to keep suffering from allergy symptoms. Call Allergy Asthma & Immunology Institute, or book an appointment online to get started on the road to allergy relief.

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Allergy Asthma & Immunology Institute

19455 Deerfield Avenue, Suite 207, Leesburg, VA 20176

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  • Office Hours

    Monday and Thursday 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    Tuesday, Wednesday 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Every other Friday 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
  • Allergy Shot Hours

    Monday and Thursday 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    Tuesday, Wednesday 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Every other Friday 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

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Useful Links

  • American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology
  • American College of Allergy Asthma Immunology - Allergist
  • Fare - Food Allergy Reasearch & Education
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