Allergy Shorts When to Start?

Posted on: Sat, 05/13/2000 - 3:08pm
Donna's picture
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Joined: 01/31/1999 - 09:00

For those whose kids have had allergy shots, what age did you start? My 5 yo is allergic to both indoor and outdoor environmental allergens. The dr did skin tests.My son is pretty severe, but the dr said he sill not start shots yet. He just gave us a bunch of meds. A lot of foods were positives also, but he said don't worry about that except for the pnuts and shellfish (We did NOT skin test for pnuts due to my son's history-severe anaphylactic)
I am upset because no mention was made of rotation diets or when shots for the environmental allergies would be an option.
Donna

Posted on: Sun, 05/14/2000 - 6:47am
FromTheSouth's picture
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Joined: 03/01/2000 - 09:00

You might want to check out "The Allergy Report" on the aaaai.org website. There is a great section on allergy shots/immunotheraphy and envir. allergens. It has been suggested that my 7 yr. old start this for her envirn. allergies (scored on an adult level for just about every envir. allergen there is!). Due to her age and all the emotional aspects she has had to deal with due to her peanut/tree-nut allergies, I have decided to wait until she is older and it is proven to be a year round problem. The doctor agreed we could wait but feels she most likely will need to start this treatment some day. Educate yourself as much as possible about this before you start because it is a big commitment (I think once you start the shots you can't just stop, can take 2 - 5 years for complete immunity, is expensive, considered very effective, however (90% in most cases). No guarantees, however....Wish I had more info. for you....Have you read the book by John Hopkins Hospital - "All You Need to Know About Allergies"? A candidate for this treatment is described as someone who can not avoid the allergens and quality of life is affected by allergies. They state not everyone with envir. allerg. needs this treatment. The doc. probably wants to use this as the last alternative (until the conditions I mentioned above are proven). Good luck! (P.S., I myself am still confused about all the types of testing and what the results really mean (i.e., why do false positives, false negatives occur, skin tests considered more accurate than blood tests but skin tests aren't always accurate, cases where people show negative to tests but have proven history of reactions). I find it very confusing, indeed...
[This message has been edited by FromTheSouth (edited May 14, 2000).]
[This message has been edited by FromTheSouth (edited May 14, 2000).]

Posted on: Sun, 05/14/2000 - 10:18pm
Christine's picture
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Joined: 02/03/1999 - 09:00

My son started his allergy injections in the Fall of 1998, at which time he was 3 months away from turning 4 years old. He is now 5 1/2 and we have already noticed MUCH improvement in his symptoms. We are in it for the long haul and figure we will have to continue for several years until his symptoms diminish. I am hoping that by the time he is in 1st grade (2002) that he will be almost symptom free and his allergies will not effect his time in school. I remember having severe allergies as a child and I was just miserable in school being on the meds and having my eyes swollen shut all the time. The post above indicates that the shots are expensive. I thought this too but have been amazed at how affordable it is, but I guess that depends on your health insurance. The doctor's office generally charges us about $70 every 10 weeks to make the serum. We pay about 15% of this cost. We are then charged $13 per shot but we only end up paying, out of pocket, $2.10 per shot (each week). So it really isn't too bad for us.
Christine

Posted on: Sun, 05/14/2000 - 11:52pm
morgansmom's picture
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Joined: 04/29/2000 - 09:00

Christine:
How do the allergy shots work? Injected into the arm? ...how many times do you have to go prior to allergy season? ...when do you start?
Thanks

Posted on: Mon, 05/15/2000 - 12:17am
Christine's picture
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Joined: 02/03/1999 - 09:00

Morgansmom,
For my son, the shots have been VERY easy. He does very well with them as do the other children I see at the office getting them. The shots are given on the backside of the upper arm just under the skin. They are not injected into the muscle like vaccines or flu shots are (at least they *shouldn't* be) so my son never experiences any arm pain. This, of course, all depends on how well the person is giving the shots. We have had our BEST experiences having the shots done in the allergist's office. The nurses there seem to be better trained. It is not always the case at the pediatrician's office where we go. I think in the whole time we've had them done, my son complained 2 times that the person giving the shot hurt him. My friend's daughter goes to a walk-in clinic to have it done because her insurance doesn't cover the shots and they have the cheapest rate ($10) but she occasionally gets a bad shot giver. There is no particular time that shots need to be started but keep in mind that it usually takes about 1 year to see any improvement. We started our shots about 6 months prior to my son's allergy season (april/may). That first season we saw no improvement and he had to have breathing treatments and he was miserable. I was really ready to give the shots up but I forced myself to hang in there and this allergy season it has finally paid off. He still has congestion of course, but it is so much better. I don't know when your child's season is but if it is spring it would be wise to start the shots now for next spring.
Christine

Posted on: Fri, 06/28/2002 - 2:51am
nicoleg's picture
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Joined: 03/30/2001 - 09:00

Recently found out about an alternative to an actual shot. There's an allergy clinic in Lacrosse, WI that uses drops that go under the tongue. I know a few who have done this with great success. Even a few food allergic people, but mostly environmental. Website:
[url="http://www.allergy-solutions.com"]www.allergy-solutions.com[/url]
[This message has been edited by nicoleg (edited June 28, 2002).]

Posted on: Fri, 06/28/2002 - 7:03am
California Mom's picture
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Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

This thread caught my eye because I was helped tremendously by allergy shots, myself. I started at age 17 and continued until age 21. I have been mainly free from any allergy symptoms until very recently (I am now 36) when I have noticed my nose itching a lot and getting stuffy when I am outdoors in certain places. (Not sure what I'm reacting to.) I think my daughter will end up needing the shots. She is 7 and is on (what I think is) the maximum dosage of zyrtec. She still has allergy symptoms sometimes. She has told me "no way" when I've mentioned shots. Maybe when she's older she'll be more willing to "suffer" for the good of her own health. I actually haven't asked our allergist about it yet.

Posted on: Fri, 06/28/2002 - 11:48am
Jandy's picture
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Joined: 05/21/2001 - 09:00

Hi,
Three out of 4 of us get allergy shots which have been very effective in treating our year round allergies- dust, pollen,cat etc. I started when 16 am 45 now- only accaisonally been off shots- and suffered when I did.
Oldest son started at age 3 now 13 and has no problems- can even sleep with a cat at friends home- allergist suggested he try without shots but son wisely asked it he'd have to start all over again 2x a week, then 1x week etc, if sypmtoms returned. He wisely chose to stay 1x a month and know that he wouldn't suffer with allergy symptoms.
My DH started about one year ago- did have one reaction to shot- but has a history of eczema(increases chances for reactions to shots and decreases chances of desensitizing working) Thankfully it has worked in his case and now he can have brief encounters with a cat and not wheeze/ be sick for week.
My youngest and most allergic of all is not getting allergy shots re severe eczema- which could be made worse by shots-and shots may be of no benefit to him- many with eczema don't have it relieve the allergy symptoms- and his chances of life-threatening reaction to the allergy shot quite seriously increases because of eczema. He used to be happy that he doesn't get the shots- he takes caritin, and asthma med's-He's down to 5 food allergies-carries his EpiPen/ inhalers. But I think he sees such a difference in his dad after shots that he'd take them if he could-even asked his allergist about it this past year.
Hope this helps
Take Care and Stay Safe,
Jandy

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