Allergy Shots during Pregnancy

Allergy shots or subcutaneous immunotherapy are a long-term treatment of allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma, allergic conjunctivitis and atopic dermatitis in women. Allergy shots are also used for the treatment of venom allergy but not for food allergies. It is the only treatment to reduce allergy sensitivity that can effectively cure or at least significantly reduce the symptoms of allergies once treatment has finished. During an allergy shot treatment, a small amount of the specific allergen in question is injected into a person’s arm same as a vaccine is provided. Asthma and allergic rhinitis can be significant health concerns during pregnancy and allergy shots can be very helpful in treating these. Women may continue to benefit from these therapies if they are currently receiving allergy shots at the time they become pregnant. For many women, allergy shots are safe to be given during pregnancy.

Allergy shots involve the administration of an allergen such as pollens, dust mites, pet dander and molds, which would results in worsen allergy symptoms. When allergens are administered in an injection form under in the body, the body treats the allergens more like a vaccine.

The process Allergy Shots

A particular immunotherapy consist of giving small doses of shots that will not cause an allergic reaction, then slowly increasing the dose until larger amounts of the allergen are tolerated by a person. Injections are usually applied once to twice a week initially until maintenance or constant dose is achieved. This may take 3 to 6 months to reach the constant dose. Once successfully completed, the maintenance dose will result in resolving of most of a person’s allergy symptoms. At this point, allergen injection shots are prescribed every two to four weeks for a total of 3 to 5 years total. After having at least 3 years of allergen injections, the patient continues to get benefit for next 5 to 10 years or longer, even after the shots are finished. The allergic symptoms may return more quickly, if the shots are stopped prior to a total of 3 years.

Safety Considerations

Allergy shots can be continued during pregnancy but it is normally not encouraged to start this treatment while pregnant. In general, the dose of the allergy shots is not increased during pregnancy and many allergists decrease the dose. To reduce the possible risk of anaphylaxis and possible danger to the fetus as a result of these doses, some allergists feel that allergy shots should be stopped during pregnancy. Although, except anaphylaxis no data available that show that the allergy shots are actually harmful to the fetus. A communication regarding the risks and benefits of these allergy shots during pregnancy should be established between the patient and allergist before deciding to take this treatment.

Side effects of Allergy Shots

Generally, the only side effect that patient receive after having an allergy shot is swelling or redness at the site of the injection. This can occur immediately after the getting the injection or a few hours afterward. In some cases, people can also feel increased allergy symptoms such as, rashes, nasal congestion, sneezing, watery eyes or hives. In rare case, a person can have a serious reaction to an allergy shot within 30 minutes of the injection. It will require emergency medical attention if a serious reaction such as anaphylaxis occur. To know more about the allergy shot treatment, you can book an appointment with Dr Shivani Sachdev Gour, the best IVF specialist doctor in Delhi.  

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