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7250 France Ave S.
Suite 410
Edina, Minnesota 55435     
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Phone:(952) 831-1551
Fax: (952) 831-0725
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Allergy Immunotherapy

What is Allergy Immunotherapy?

Allergen immunotherapy or Allergy shots involve injecting increasing amounts of allergen into a patient over several months.  It can lead to long-lasting relief of allergy symptoms after treatment is stopped.  It has been shown to prevent the development of new allergies and can prevent the progression of the allergic disease from allergic rhinitis to asthma, in children.

Is it the right option for me?

Immunotherapy is not recommended for people with food allergies.  If you have allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma, allergic conjunctivitis, or stinging insect allergies it may be a good treatment for you.  You and your physician will make that decision based on several factors.  Some of these factors are:

 

  • Severity of symptoms
  • How well medications control your symptoms
  • Your desire to avoid long-term medication use
  • Time.  Immunotherapy will require a significant time commitment
  • Cost.  This may vary depending on your insurance coverage

How does immunotherapy work?

It works like a vaccine.  You are injected with gradually increasing amounts of the allergen which causes your body to develop an immunity or tolerance to it.  It can lead to decreased, minimal, or no allergy symptoms when you are exposed to the allergens.  There are two phases to immunotherapy:

 

Build-up phase.  Generally, during this phase, you will receive injections one to two times per week with increasing amounts of allergen.  This phase generally ranges from three to six months.

 

Maintenance phase.  When your effective therapeutic dose is reached, the maintenance phase begins.  During this phase, there will be longer periods of time between immunotherapy treatments.  The intervals between injections generally ranges from one every two to four weeks.  Your physician will decide what range is best for you.

How much time does it take?

There is a significant time commitment involved.  The build-up phase generally lasts 3-6 months and you'll receive shots 1-2 times per week.  The maintenance treatment is generally continued for 3-5 years.

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