As we are beginning what I believe will be a very tough allergy season for patients, it seems like a good time to review your Frequently asked questions:
How quickly does immunotherapy work, and how long does it last? Everyone is different, but typically we like to wait at least four to six months to see significant improvement. Our allergy societies recommend three to five years of treatment. Naturally, the longer the better. A good course of allergy shots can yield five to ten years of improvement.
How are injections dosed? Injections start with a very low dose to prevent an allergic reaction. The dose gradually increases on a regular basis until your maximum dose is reached. We keep track of the doses by coloring the tops of the vials. When you come in for your shots you can have Stacie show you all the colors so you can keep track of where you’re at.
Can I continue my current allergy treatment AND do immunotherapy? Yes! You may continue to take antihistamines, nose sprays, nasal rinses, and eye drops as needed. Talk to the Nurse Practitioner or Dr. Wendt about additional therapies they recommend.
Are there potential reactions to immunotherapy? Yes, reactions include swelling at the site of injection, itchy eyes, itchy nose, itchy throat or chest, wheezing. Tell us as soon as possible if this is happening to you. The biggest risk with immunotherapy is anaphylaxis. We will educate you about signs of anaphylaxis and how to use an EpiPen, so you feel safe during treatment. If you go into anaphylaxis at our office, we are fully equipped to monitor your vital signs, administer medication, and provide breathing treatments as needed. We always have a physician or nurse practitioner present during office hours.
What if I am going on vacation or traveling for work? We get this question ALL the time! Do not worry about vacations or traveling – we have an algorithm in the back that tells us how to safely dose your shot based on how long it’s been since you received your last one.
I am a snowbird. Can I still do shots? Absolutely! We have a “vials out” form for you to fill out. You can find any medical practitioner who is willing to administer shots and monitor you for signs of anaphylaxis. Once you give us the information, we will send your serum when it’s time to go.
What if the office is fine for a visit or two, but too far for regular allergy shot visits? Same answer as stated above. We can do “vials out” and any medical practitioner (MD or NP) of your choosing can administer immunotherapy.
What if I just live too far?
We can have a telemedicine appointment and arrange for your allergen immunotherapy to be administered by your primary care doctor or nurse practitioner, anywhere in the state of Arizona. This is not a problem.
What if my allergy shot treatment lapses and I want to get back but don’t want to start over?
We have a way of checking a safe level to restart if it hasn’t been too long. If it has only been less than one year, we rarely have to start completely over. If it has been longer, we do recommend you start over, but we can make it faster by administering in clusters.
What if I need help NOW?
While we are starting allergy shots, you can still take all of your current allergy medications you need. If you would like to get up to maintenance faster, we can give the allergy shots in cluster therapy, administered in our comfortable environment. This gets you through allergy shots much quicker! We have Wi-Fi and a quieter area so you can work or read and relax while we are treating you. Bring whatever you need to be comfortable.
What if I don’t want to take months to get treatment up to maintenance?
Same as above. We can give the shot in clusters. This is the most popular method for our patients’ busy, overscheduled lifestyles.
I am so busy! Can my children get allergy shots at the same time?
Absolutely. It is truly fun to see parents and children in our clinic. We love that!
Are allergy shots expensive? One of our medical assistants handles insurance and prior authorization. She is happy to join in on your follow-up appointment to go over specific costs with your insurance plan and provide you with the numbers. If you are suffering or missing sleep or work from allergies, consider it a valuable investment in your health. What is it worth to stop suffering?
Who cannot receive allergy immunotherapy? Immunotherapy is typically not started before a child can successfully communicate side effects they may be having from the shots. Usually this is around the age of 5. Immunotherapy is not initiated in our clinic if you are pregnant, BUT it can be continued if you become pregnant during maintenance therapy. If you have an active, severe medical condition that would make it difficult to manage an allergic reaction, such as a recent heart attack, we prefer not to start allergy shots without the approval of the physician overseeing the condtion.
What if I am breastfeeding? There are no contraindications to immunotherapy and breastfeeding.
Don’t wait! You have suffered to long. Get Relieve-d by calling 480-500-1902 or requesting an appointment online.
If you would like to be tested for your allergies or believe you might be a good candidate for allergen immunotherapy, Dr. Wendt and her team at Relieve Allergy, Asthma & Hives would love to help.
Relieve Allergy Asthma & Hives is located near Kierland Commons, Scottsdale Quarter, DC Ranch and Grayhawk at 21803 N. Scottsdale Road Ste. 200, on the corners of Deer Valley and Scottsdale Roads, and has convenient evening and early morning hours to accommodate your schedule.
Dr. Wendt is also available for telemedicine appointments. Most insurance plans are accepted. Call 480-500-1902 today to schedule an appointment and begin your allergy testing and treatment with Dr. Wendt at Relieve Allergy, Asthma & Hives in Scottsdale, Arizona.