Desensitization Injections (Allergy Shots)
Administering antigens outside of a medical facility equipped to handle allergic reactions is unwise. We therefore advise against patients injecting themselves or having others do it at home. Allergy patients who are pregnant or taking beta adrenergic blocking medication will be referred back to their own allergist (or to a local allergist) for their injections.
The following is some important information and procedures of which you need to be aware before initiating allergy treatment at SHS. Please take a few minutes to review this page; the Allergy and Asthma Clinic nurse is pleased to answer any questions or concerns you might have about your allergies or allergy treatment at SHS.
Important Information About Allergy Injections
Students who require allergy injections may store their allergen solution at Student Health Services. A nurse will assist in following the injection schedule and will provide follow-up care. You may be able to receive an injection without an appointment if you are willing to wait for any students who may have scheduled appointments prior to your arrival. Scheduled appointments eliminate the inconvenience of such waits; ask the Allergy and Asthma Clinic nurse about scheduling appointments.
Serum ordered by an outside physician is stored at SHS for your convenience. The allergy nurse will insure that the vial is clearly labeled with the following information before storage: your name, contents, concentration, manufacturer and expiration date. Please supply the Allergy and Asthma Clinic nurse with a schedule of injections, dosage prescribed, and comments about any reactions you might have had.
If your vials have been mailed to us, please check with the Allergy and Asthma Clinic nurse to be sure it has arrived before you are due for an injection. All antigen left in the Allergy and Asthma Clinic will be discarded when it becomes outdated, or one year from the date of manufacture noted on the label.
During Appointments for Allergy Injections
It's important that you communicate the following information to the Allergy and Asthma Clinic nurse before receiving an injection so that proper dosage can be determined:
- Signs or symptoms of illness, extreme fatigue or a flare up of allergy symptoms
- Delayed reactions to the previous injection that occurred after leaving the clinic
- Changes in amounts, frequency or types of medications
It is unsafe to receive allergy injections within a short period before or after donating blood or receiving certain immunizations. If you plan to donate blood or if you need an immunization, you may need to schedule your allergy injection at least 48 hours before or after either experience. Some immunizations can be given at the same time as allergy injections, including vaccinations for flu and tetanus.
Serious systemic reactions to antigen are rare but unpredictable. When they do occur, it is usually within 30 minutes of an injection. For your protection, we require that you remain at Student Health Services for 30 minutes following your injection. Students who do not comply with the full waiting period will be referred to an outside provider for allergy injections. Before leaving, allow the nurse to check the injection site for local reaction.
Initial visits are done for all desensitization patients during the first appointment of the school year. Health information is updated and consents are signed.
Between Allergy Injections
Strenuous activities should be avoided following an injection of antigen. Please avoid activities that increase the heart rate for at least two hours after you receive an injection: running, jogging, team sports, racket sports, skiing, skating, tennis, taking saunas, sunbathing or using a hot tub.
The source of your allergy symptoms (dust mites, pollens, animal dander, mold, etc.) should be avoided as much as possible during the 24 hour periods before and after your injection. It is advisable to have an antihistamine on hand. If you have none, please consult a clinician at SHS. There is no office visit fee for allergy appointments.
A fee is assessed for each injection you receive. The Allergy and Asthma Clinic nurse can tell you what the fee is currently.
Allergy and Asthma Clinic Hours
Allergy services are scheduled daily Monday through Friday during clinic hours until 4:00 p m.