Both Allergy shots and drops (Allergen Immunotherapy) have proven to be extremely effective. As opposed to medication which treats symptoms only, Allergen Immunotherapy targets the actual allergic disease state itself offering the best possibility for cure. These treatments are typically reserved for allergy sufferers whose symptoms are not controlled with environmental control and/or medication.
Allergen Immunotherapy work similar to a vaccine. Your body responds to small amounts of a particular allergen, given in gradually increasing doses, by developing immunity or tolerance to the allergen.
Allergy injections are administered in our office once to twice a week for three to six months; then twice a month for years at a time. Drops are self-administered once daily under the tongue at home, most often for three to five years total.
Allergy shots can start working within three to six months and definitely within 12 months, depending on how frequently you receive shots. Some studies show that drops start working within eight weeks of therapy, while other studies show that it may take one to two years to receive benefits from therapy.
Allergy shots are safe but need to be given under Medical supervision. Patients receiving allergy shots then need to be monitored for 15 to 20 minutes, given the small chance of a serious allergic reaction occurring.
Allergy drops are extremely safe – no fatal reactions have ever been reported, although severe reactions have rarely occurred. Allergy drops can be self-administered at home without direct medical supervision.
Studies suggest that allergy shots are slightly more effective than drops.
Most medical insurance covers a significant portion of allergy shots, although co-payments and annual deductibles also apply. Since allergy drops are not FDA-approved, they are not covered by insurance. The cost of allergy drops, however, may be offset by what you save by not spending time and travel costs to visit your physician’s office to get your allergy shots.
Ultimately, you and Dr. Mardiney will decide together which therapy is right for you and your specific needs.