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What are the side effects of allergy shots?

Manan Shah, MD, ENT

Wyndly co-founder & Chief Medical Officer. Dedicated to personalizing care and making allergies a thing of the past.

Updated on Sep 7, 2021

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This article is a transcript.

What Are the Reactions to Allergy Shots?

 

There's three types of reactions you can have to allergy shots.


The first reaction is what we call a local reaction, and that's where, right where you get the injection, you can get a little bit of redness or pain or stinging or bruising. That is certainly frustrating, but it tends to not be life threatening. You should talk to your allergist that this happens.


The second type of reaction is a little bit more concerning. And that is when you get a stuffy nose or hives. And once it starts to affect your whole body, you have to start worrying about whether you're going to get throat tightness or even chest tightness.


The third type reaction, which is the most concerning, is what we call anaphylactic shock. That's when you have trouble breathing and you get a low blood pressure. That usually happens within 30 minutes of the shot, and most of the time you should be at the doctor's office. If that happens, you definitely want to call 911. You definitely want to use your EpiPen.

You probably then want to afterwards talk to your allergist about whether you should switch to allergy drops, which are different from shots and have a much safer risk profile. The chance of having anaphylactic shock is just a lot less.


Anyways, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out. Thanks.

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