Currently, a series of allergy shots, called allergen immunotherapy, is the only available treatment that can provide a long-lasting benefit against allergies, even after the treatment is stopped. Allergy shots are given as subcutaneous (under the skin) injections. They contain increasing concentrations of the pollen allergen(s) to which you are sensitive. These shots reduce the level of antibodies to pollen in your blood and cause your body to make another protective antibody called IgG. Because these shots may have significant side effects, people need to stay in the healthcare professional’s office for a period of time after receiving the shots.
Health experts recommend that people who benefit from allergy shots continue receiving them for 3 years and then consider stopping them with the guidance of an allergy specialist. Although many people are able to stop the injections with good results lasting for several years, others do get worse after the shots are stopped.
As researchers improve allergy shots, they promise to become an even more effective treatment.
Last Updated October 17, 2011
Last Reviewed October 11, 2011