Tags: Health Topics | allergen immunotherapy | side effects

11 Side Effects of Allergen Immunotherapy

By    |   Thursday, 23 Jun 2016 08:51 PM

Allergen immunotherapy is basically the use of allergy shots as long-term treatment for patients with allergies and asthma.

The shots are also administered for conditions such as conjunctivitis, or eye allergies, and insect bite allergies.

People undergoing allergen immunotherapy decrease their sensitivity to allergens, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.

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In many cases, the allergy shots lead to long-lasting or permanent relief of allergy symptoms, even when the shots are discontinued.

Allergy shots usually cause no long-term complications, eMedicineHealth reports.

Here are 11 side effects patients might experience from allergen immunotherapy:
  1. Swelling or redness at the injection site that normally disappears after 24 hours
  2. Itching
  3. Watery eyes
  4. Stuffy nose
  5. Sneezing
Some of these side effects mimic the symptoms of allergies because the shots contain substances that cause the allergies, the Mayo Clinic explains.

The following severe symptoms rarely occur, but should be monitored:
  1. Rapid heartbeat
  2. Chest or throat tightness
  3. Difficulty breathing
  4. Dizziness
  5. Loss of consciousness
  6. Death
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Severe reactions result from anaphylaxis, which is uncommon but life-threatening, eMedicineHealth notes. Emergency medical treatment is necessary. Dizziness and loss of consciousness happen because of dangerously low blood pressure when the brain doesn’t receive enough blood flow.

Patients are normally advised to stay in the doctor’s office for 20 to 30 minutes following allergen immunotherapy because dangerous reactions usually occur within that time frame.

However, serious reactions can happen after 30 minutes. People who start experiencing these side effects after leaving the doctor’s office should immediately go to a medical emergency clinic. It’s important to have someone else drive or call 911 to be transported.

The Mayo Clinic reports that taking antihistamine medication before undergoing allergen immunotherapy lessens the risk of severe reactions. Having weekly or monthly allergy shots on a regular schedule without missed doses also helps to reduce the risk.

It’s best for patients to consult their doctor about taking medication before shots and making sure allergen immunotherapy is done on a regular basis to avoid complications.

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Allergen immunotherapy is basically the use of allergy shots as long-term treatment for patients with allergies and asthma. Allergy shots usually cause no long-term complications, but here are 11 side effects patients might experience from allergen immunotherapy.
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2016-51-23
Thursday, 23 Jun 2016 08:51 PM
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