Potential Reactions To Allergy Shots

Every patient must wait 20 minutes after their shot before leaving the clinic.  When a new vial is started, patients will be given a skin test.  If the test is negative, we will administer the injection.  Reactions are rare but are possible, so every patient must wait 20 minutes prior to leaving the clinic.

Patients who are undergoing treatment have been asked to fill a prescription for an Epinephrine Injector (Epi-Pen).  As a delayed reaction may occur up to two hours after injection, a Wake ENT staff member will show each patient undergoing treatment how to use their Epi-Pen should it ever be necessary to do so.

If an injection is skipped, we may not be able to advance patients to their next dose at their next visit.

Reasons why we may not give a patient an allergy shot:

  • Fever of 100 degrees or higher
  • Wheezing
  • Active rash or hives
  • Immunization (flu shot) received on the same day.  Please allow one day between an immunization and allergy shot.

Reactions which may occur to a weekly allergy injection include but may not be limited to:

Delayed Reaction:  Some patients develop swelling, itching or bruising several hours and up to three days after injection.  This can be minimized by taking a long-acting antihistamine prior to the injection.  Examples include: Claritin, Allegra, Clarinex, and Zyrtec.

Large Local Reaction: Immediate or delayed redness or swelling that is larger than a 50 cent piece and lasts more than 24 hours may require icing and taking an antihistamine such as Benadryl (25 mgs to 50 mgs). Please avoid driving after taking 50 mgs of Benadryl.

General or Systemic Reaction: These reactions are rare and usually occur within minutes. Potentially very serious symptoms include chest tightness, difficulty breathing, coughing, wheezing, hives, generalized itching or flushing, mouth or throat swelling, fainting or collapsing.  The patient must seek immediate emergency medical treatment if these symptoms occur.  First, an Epi-Pen should be used to inject epinephrine into the leg. Only then should the patient call 911.

If a patient becomes pregnant while being treated for allergies, she should immediately stop treatment and contact our clinic.

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