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Feedback on Allergy Shot Efficacy

Hello, allergy sufferers and caregivers. This post is me requesting feedback on this topic:  did allergy shots work for you or your kids? Did they reduce symptoms? If you've read my other post, I have an eighteen year old who gets a chronic, and I mean CHRONIC, cough each October and February.  She almost chokes completely down. 

A new specialist has us on allergy shots for three months now. October is around the bend. I pray every time I think about it that this evil cough will not come back this October.

If you've had a kid this severe, or if you yourself have been, have the shots helped in any way to reduce the chronic symptoms? Can you live better now?

 

Thank you all and so many blessings your way.

Brenda

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Comments 9

  • Melissa G

    Lots of hugs Brenda! That has to be a very frustrating situation. 

    So far, how has your dd been doing on the allergy shots? Did the new dr say what they would be doing after the shots?

  • BrendatheMom

    Thanks, Melissa. I'll take those hugs! I see you have several children you care over as well. No, the doctor didn't say what we'd do after the shots, just that he'd see her for a check up in July.

    The allergy clinic mixes the vials and then ships them to our rural, local clinic. For the first month, we had to go to his office; now we do not see him but every few months until the illnesses begin, then we are in there all the time. Sh e usually has to be on Cefdinir, because it always turns in to infections, and Zpacks no longer work. Gosh, I hate just typing this out. She's been through so much.

    So far, she has responded very well to the shots, with no Epi-Pen needed and no knots of swelling. A bit of a stuffy nose and some lethargy 1-3 days following, that is all.

    Her allergies come in bouts of seasons when the grasses and trees first bloom and also the cedar season, and so to see what will happen is a waiting game. 

    Best of luck with your family, too.

  • K8sMom2002

    Hugs on the battle with the cough and the congestion! 

    My daughter was on allergy shots for a while, but our allergist cautioned us that it would take as much as a year for the shots to really reduce symptoms. Unfortunately, my daughter wasn't able to continue with the shots, so I'm not sure how it would have worked out. We were really hopeful that it would help, and I hate that she can't take the shots.

    Many people swear by the shots and have noted that it really did help them with their allergies.

    The  says this about allergy shots: 

    You may notice a decrease in symptoms during the build-up phase, but it may take as long as 12 months on the maintenance dose to notice an improvement. If allergy shots are successful, maintenance treatment is generally continued for three to five years. Any decision to stop allergy shots should be discussed with your allergist / immunologist. 

    Sending good that you guys will see a decrease in symptoms as well. 

    Does your allergist think the cough is related to post nasal drip and congestion from environmental allergies? While the newer antihistamine tablets don't really address nasal congestion, there are a few medications that can help if your daughter can take them.

    Before October … could you talk to your doctor about:

    • daily antihistamine — what dose and which one does the doc think may be best for your daughter
    • steroid nasal sprays (these take a while to give you the full benefit — several days to weeks, so talk to your doctor about whether starting before October is advisable — and IIRC, your daughter has had severe nosebleeds, so steroid nasal sprays may not work for her.
    • spray antihistamines — azelastine (brand name Dymista) is one that my daughter can use — it isn't like a nasal steroid spray, and her hem/onc and her allergist have agreed that she can use it.
    • nasal decongestants like pseudoephedrine tablets as needed. My daughter's path to coughing and hacking and asthma flares sounds incredibly similar to your daughter's, and our sick plan calls for her beginning a nasal decongestant when she has more congestion than usual.
  • Marie E Natzke

    Brendathemom, I've been on allergy shots and they did help me. My allergist would have me take my allergy meds before I would come in to get the shots. I would have local skin reactions and this helped to reduce them. They also would add a low dose of benadryl mixed in with the vials as well. If I would have a reaction my shot would be repeated or reduced the next time. They also would put cream on the injection site right after giving the shot. It does take time. As it built up in my system I could tell after about 20 minutes after getting the shots I felt better. And then I could tell that I was getting near the time to get my shots. When I first started on allergy shots I would get seven shots. As time went on they were able to mix more allergens together and I would get less shots. I was down to 3 shots. Pollens..molds/dust mites…fur/ feathers. 

    I had to stop taking my shots a couple months ago. I was diagnosed with an inflammatory arthritis and have been on humira for a year now. I kept getting sick and realized I had to make a decision it's either allergy shots or humira. I chose the humira. But the humira I noticed is helping my allergies too along with the arthritis.

    I hope your daughter starts getting relief!!

  • StuffySimon

    Hi !

    I'm currently doing the allergy shots.  I started in the Fall of 2018 and went in every week for the shots.  Now that we are in allergy season, they have stopped increasing the dose and have kept me on a holding dose.  I missed one of my shots recently because I was sick with a cold.  I will go in two weeks for another holding shot.  

    So far it really hasn't helped me much.  My allergist said that it may help a bit even though I haven't finished all of the doses.  However, I have found that it really hasn't done much.  Perhaps I need to wait for a full year to see an affect?

  • K8sMom2002

    BrendatheMom and Stuffy Simon, how are allergy shots going?

    Brenda, I know you are hoping that the shots will help! AAFA just had a blog post on how , and I thought of you.

  • BrendatheMom

    Hey guys. Thanks for all the feedback. I'm sorry some of you have no help, while others it did. Sdo far we are cruising along, but it is not allergy season for her yet. I will definitely  read the post and keep close tabs on this website. Thank you all!

  • AliWithAsthma

    I did allergy shots for about 1 year before I decided to discontinue.

    Pros: I feel like they were effective in the sense that I do not have as much mucous and post-nasal drip as I used to have. But, part of that may also be due to the fact that I had my large, cavernous tonsils removed within the same year. Perhaps the benefits I realized could be attributed to either, or both.

    Cons: I never made it to maintenance dose, as I kept having episodic asthma symptoms during the time I was doing allergy shots, so we kept staying at a lower dose or going back down to a lower dose from week-to-week when I was symptomatic, and not building up to larger doses at a very fast/"normal" pace. I felt fatigue more intensely, and more frequently, when I was receiving allergy shots. I felt like my system was overstimulated and overloaded. In August of last year, which is the peak of ragweed season here in South Dakota, I was a complete mess and had some intense asthma/respiratory symptoms which required a couple consecutive prednisone bursts.So, after a year, I was exhausted and concluded that the costs (flare-ups) outweighed the potential benefits. My pulmonologist was like, "If you keep having flare-ups, why are you still doing the allergy shots?" So I quit.

    However, I am revisiting the idea of allergy shots again this year, after having been off of them for over a year. I will be seeing a new allergist in a few weeks who also specializes in asthma, so I am eager to be re-tested for allergies to determine if I am less reactive to any of the allergens that were included in my allergy shot serums, and to get the new doctor's take on everything I have going on, allergies AND asthma together, and what she recommends. I am hopeful I will receive advice/treatment that will lead to better control and potentially give allergy shots another try, for better control and less reactivity in the future.Wish me luck!