Decoding Allergy Shots: Frequency, Effectiveness, and Outlook

Wyndly Care Team
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How many days can you miss between allergy shots?

The recommended interval between allergy shots typically ranges from 2 to 4 weeks. However, missing a dose occasionally isn't harmful. If you exceed a week beyond your scheduled appointment, consult your allergist. Prolonged delays may require dosage adjustments to maintain immunotherapy effectiveness.

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How Do Allergy Shots Function?

Allergy shots function by gradually exposing the body to allergens, helping to build immunity over time. This process is known as immunotherapy. It aims to reduce the severity of allergic reactions, potentially providing long-term relief from allergy symptoms.


Immunotherapy is a treatment approach that desensitizes the immune system to allergens. It involves administering increasing amounts of an allergen to a patient over several months. This exposure helps to change the immune response, reducing allergic reactions. Over time, this can lead to a significant decrease in allergy symptoms and sometimes even complete resolution. Patients might notice improvement in symptoms within a few months of starting immunotherapy, but the most significant improvement often takes place within the first year of treatment. However, everyone's response to immunotherapy is different, and some people might take longer to experience relief. Learn more about the effectiveness of allergy drops here.

Procedure Details

Allergy shots are typically given in a doctor’s office, with a waiting period after the injection to ensure no severe reaction occurs. The treatment is divided into two phases: the build-up phase and the maintenance phase. The build-up phase involves receiving injections with increasing amounts of allergens one to two times a week. The length of this phase can range from three to six months. The maintenance phase begins once the effective dose is reached. During this phase, the frequency of allergy shots decreases to once every two to four weeks. Find out why allergy shots require waiting in the office here.

What Is the Typical Allergy Shot Schedule?

An allergy shot schedule is typically divided into two phases: the build-up phase and the maintenance phase. The frequency and duration of these phases vary based on the individual's response to the treatment.

Frequency of Allergy Shots

During the build-up phase, allergy shots are usually administered one to two times a week over a period of three to six months. Once the effective dose is reached, the maintenance phase begins, with shots given once every two to four weeks. This frequency can vary depending on the patient's sensitivity and response to the treatment. The maintenance phase can last for several years, but many patients notice a significant reduction in symptoms within the first year of receiving shots. For a comprehensive understanding of what to expect with allergy shots, consider reading this article. It's also important to note that there are alternatives to allergy shots available, such as sublingual immunotherapy, which could provide a more flexible treatment schedule.

Are Allergy Shots Suitable for Everyone?

Allergy shots, also known as immunotherapy, are suitable for most people aged five and up who have allergic reactions to environmental allergens. However, the suitability also depends on individual health conditions and lifestyle factors.

Suitability and Effectiveness

Allergy shots have proven effective for both adults and children suffering from various allergies, such as pollen, dust mites, mold, and pet dander. Studies show that they can significantly reduce allergy symptoms and improve quality of life. However, they might not be the best option for those with severe or uncontrolled asthma, people with certain heart conditions, or those who cannot commit to the regular schedule.

While allergy shots can provide long-term relief, they require a significant time commitment, and some people might experience side effects. Therefore, it's crucial to discuss the benefits and drawbacks with a healthcare provider. For those seeking a more flexible option, sublingual immunotherapy, or allergy drops, can be an effective alternative. They can be taken at home and are considered just as effective as allergy shots. However, the minimum recommended age for sublingual immunotherapy is five years.

What Are the Risks and Benefits of Allergy Shots?

Allergy shots, while effective for many, do carry some risks, including potential reactions. However, the benefits, such as decreased allergy symptoms and improved quality of life, often outweigh the risks.

Potential Reactions

Potential reactions to allergy shots can range from minor to severe. Minor reactions include redness and swelling at the injection site, which usually subside within a few hours. More severe reactions, though rare, can include hives, swelling in the throat, and difficulty breathing. It's important to monitor for any reactions after receiving an allergy shot, and report them to your healthcare provider immediately.


The benefits of allergy shots are numerous. They can significantly reduce allergy symptoms, decrease the need for other medications, and improve overall quality of life. Over time, they can also lead to long-term relief from allergies, even after treatment is stopped. For individuals of all ages, from 5 years and older, allergy shots can be a game-changer, enabling them to live more comfortably and freely.

What Is the Recovery and Outlook After Allergy Shots?

The recovery and outlook after allergy shots are generally promising. The treatment duration varies, but the long-term outlook is often a significant reduction in allergy symptoms and improved quality of life.

Duration of Treatment

The duration of allergy shot treatment is typically three to five years. This includes a build-up phase, which usually lasts three to six months, where the dosage is gradually increased. Following this is the maintenance phase, where the most effective dose is given regularly for a prolonged period.

Long-Term Outlook

The long-term outlook for individuals undergoing allergy shots is generally positive. Most patients experience a significant reduction in allergy symptoms and an improved quality of life. Furthermore, many individuals continue to experience these benefits for years after the completion of their treatment, making allergy shots a long-term solution for managing allergies.

When Should You Call the Doctor Regarding Allergy Shots?

You should contact your doctor regarding allergy shots if you experience severe side effects or if your allergy symptoms do not improve after a year of treatment. Regular communication with your healthcare provider is crucial for effective allergy management.

Sublingual Immunotherapy

Sublingual immunotherapy is an alternative to allergy shots where the allergen is placed under the tongue. If you have any concerns or adverse reactions to this treatment, such as mouth or throat irritation, it's important to inform your doctor. Your healthcare provider can adjust your treatment plan as necessary, ensuring optimal allergy control.

Live Allergy-Free with Wyndly

If you want long-term relief from your allergies, Wyndly can help. Our doctors will help you identify your allergy triggers and create a personalized treatment plan to get you the lifelong relief you deserve. Start by taking our quick online allergy assessment today!

Frequently Asked Questions

How many times a week can you get allergy shots?

Allergy shots, also known as immunotherapy, is often started with a build-up phase of two to three times per week. However, this schedule can vary based on individual needs and response to the treatment. The maintenance phase typically involves one shot every two to four weeks.

How long does an allergy steroid shot last?

The duration of an allergy steroid shot's effectiveness varies from person to person. Generally, the beneficial effects can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months. The specific duration largely depends on the individual's body response and the severity of their allergy symptoms.

What are the intervals for allergy shots?

The intervals for allergy shots typically follow a build-up phase and a maintenance phase. During the build-up phase, shots are given 1-2 times a week over 3-6 months. The maintenance phase follows, where shots are given approximately once a month for 3-5 years.

What happens if you stop allergy shots?

If you stop allergy shots prematurely or without consulting your allergist, your allergy symptoms may return. It's crucial to complete the full course of allergy shots as recommended by your allergist to achieve long-term symptom relief and potentially desensitize your immune system to allergens.

Can allergy shots make you sick days later?

Yes, allergy shots can potentially make you feel sick days later. Some people experience delayed reactions, which can include redness, swelling or irritation at the injection site, and flu-like symptoms. These reactions can occur hours or even days after the allergy shot.

Can you have a delayed reaction to allergy shots?

Yes, a delayed reaction to allergy shots can occur. These reactions usually happen several hours after the injection, and symptoms might include redness, swelling, or itching at the injection site, or systemic reactions like hives, asthma symptoms, or a drop in blood pressure.

What medications interfere with allergy shots?

Certain medications can interfere with allergy shots, including beta blockers, certain antidepressants, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors. These medications may enhance or impede the body's response to allergen immunotherapy, potentially leading to an adverse reaction. Always consult your healthcare provider about your medications before starting allergy shots.

What to do when allergy shots don't work?

If allergy shots are not providing relief, it's crucial to consult your healthcare provider. They might adjust the dosage or frequency of your injections. Alternatively, they may suggest other treatment options like sublingual immunotherapy, antihistamines, or corticosteroids, depending on your specific allergic condition.

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