Medical Definition of Shots, allergy

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Shots, allergy: Known medically as allergy desensitization or allergy immunotherapy, the injections are designed to stimulate the immune system with gradually increasing doses of the substances to which a person is allergic, the aim being to modify or stop the allergy "war" (by reducing its effect on the mast cells). This form of the strength of the IgE and its treatment is very effective for allergies to pollen, mites, cats, and especially stinging insects (e.g., bees, hornets, yellowjackets, wasps, velvet ants, fire ants). Allergy immunotherapy usually takes 6 months to a year to become effective and injections are usually required for 3-5 years.

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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