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Attention if you get Allergy Shots!

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by Teacake, Mar 2, 2012.

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Have you ever had a reaction to an allergy treatment?

  1. I don't think so...

    3 vote(s)
    42.9%
  2. Yes, a serious one!

    2 vote(s)
    28.6%
  3. Yes, but only minor (itching, redness, raised spot from shots)

    2 vote(s)
    28.6%
  4. Yes, but I didn't realize it at the time.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Teacake

    Teacake OohShiny

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    Hello, all! I've been a PC forum fan for quite some time. While I haven't browsed House of Pancakes very much, I wanted to add something useful to other people that is decidedly not about cars. :)

    If anyone receives allergy shots, please take a few moments to seriously review how they make you feel (both recently and in the past) and proper safety guidelines.

    Why? Because you can be in danger quickly and can overlook important signs.

    Story: I've had increasing seasonal allergies over the past few years. I decided to go to the allergist my parents like after moving back to my hometown. New allergy test - found I was allergic to half the things on the chart (the pollens) in ranges that were above readable levels, including some odd ones like hops (no beers). Started getting allergy shots mid-January. Now, I'm prone to anxiety, which is delightful in itself. When I started my shots, I never had any raised welts or anything typical. Last month they started to itch, but that's not odd because the warm winter here in KY has meant all the pollens are coming out early and the intensity of your allergy shots is related to the outside pollen levels.

    I felt I was having a little anxiety symptoms from the fact that I don't like shots. But allergy shots are teeny and I quickly lost that overall fear, except just a little right before I would get them. Normal, right?

    My boyfriend and I have been fighting illnesses that keep hanging around this winter. I was getting over what I thought was one - I waited a week because you're not supposed to get your shots if you're sick. Went yesterday, got my shot, had a little lightheadedness and light nausea that was occasional. Went home instead of running original errands, had late lunch because thought maybe blood sugar was low. Took a benadryl in there after looking up some things just in case because my arm was a little tingly. (You'll say, if your arm was tingly, you dodo...however it initially felt like when you hit your funny bone or when a limb has been asleep and is waking up - I figured I'd pinched a nerve or something in my wrist from using my laptop all the time.)

    Thank heavens for me, my boyfriend decided to come home early to rest from his own cold he's almost over. After talking to him for about 10 minutes saying I felt weird, I asked him to take me to immediate care. I starting having shakes, like when you're cold and shivering - but they were increasing and not controllable kind.

    I ended up having a systemic reaction to the shot. While I wasn't anaphylatic (I could still breathe), my throat was some tighter, rising heartrate, trying to fight mild anxiety, and my shaking kept getting worse. The first doctor didn't know what to do with me and thought it was stemming from a panic attack. I told her I was very familiar with anxiety symptoms and this was not that. Violent, uncontrollable limb and body shaking that doesn't go away after being given oxygen - not anxiety.

    I'm rambling on now, but my point is this - you may not have typical reactions but that doesn't mean you're not in danger. If you have even one weird symptom, even if you think it's unrelated, you need to mention it and scale back your allergy shot vials. Everything I had previously, I thought was related to something else - I thought anxiety or I'd pinched a nerve in my arm, was getting over a bug, etc. My reaction occurred 2 hours after my shot, not within the normal 30 minutes waiting period (always wait, people! It's your health!).

    Like I said, please keep in mind even odd details. I had:
    zero redness from my shots
    zero hives
    zero rashes
    zero increase in sniffles or congestion
    zero raised welts
    Only slight itching, shot sites would stay bruised for days, a brief spacey-lightheaded feeling that quickly passed. When I went to Immediate Care, I didn't show regular signs either - I could still breathe, not much chest tightness, etc.

    It probably could have been a lot worse yesterday. I'm...overwhelmed with thankfulness now for everything and everyone. I just hope by posting this somebody else can benefit and avoid danger. While there are a bajillion things on the Internet (duh), here are a few links to get people refreshed on what to pay attention to. Thank you for taking the time to read this and pass it on to people you know who get shots. You only have one life to live, and I'd hate to lose mine by not paying good enough attention. Bless you all!

    ----------------------------------------
    Warning Signs:

    "Generally, allergy shots are safe, with minimal side effects. There are no long-term complications associated with this form of therapy, but there is a small risk of allergic reactions immediately following the injection. These allergic reactions can be severe (see below). Typically, allergy shots may cause slight swelling or redness at the injection site. These reactions can occur immediately after the injection and/or can occur several hours later. This mild allergic reaction is usually harmless and goes away within 24 hours.

    The shots may also cause symptoms similar to the allergy symptoms you experience: itchy, stuffy nose; itchy, watery eyes; sneezing. In very rare cases, these symptoms become very severe and are accompanied by other symptoms, including the following:

    This type of very severe allergic reaction is known as anaphylaxis.
    • It is a very uncommon reaction to an allergy shot, but it is dangerous, even life threatening.
    • This is less likely to happen if you follow the schedule of shots recommended by your allergist and observe the technician administering the shot. Be sure you are receiving the correct dose of the correct extract.
    • The dizziness, light-headedness, and loss of consciousness are due to dangerously low blood pressure, usually called "shock." These symptoms occur when the brain is not receiving enough blood.
    • Anaphylactic shock is a medical emergency.
    Such severe reactions usually begin within 20-30 minutes after receiving the shots. For this reason, most allergists require that you wait in the office for 20-30 minutes after your shots to be monitored. If you should experience these symptoms at any time, tell the allergist or other medical professional right away.
    • If you have already left the allergist's office, and are having a severe reaction, go directly to the nearest hospital emergency department. If you already have and Epi-pen, use it. If you have an antihistamine such as Benadryl, take it regardless, go to the nearest hospital emergency room or urgent care center as soon as possible.

    • Do not attempt to drive yourself. If no one is available to drive you immediately, call 911 for emergency transport."
    Source:
    Allergy Shots: Types, During Pregnancy and Side Effects of Immunotherapy for Allergies on MedicineNet.com

    Other information
    WebMD:
    Allergy Shots (Immunotherapy) Effectiveness, Side Effects, & More

    Mayo Clinic:
    Allergy shots: Risks - MayoClinic.com
    2 people like this.
  2. cproaudio

    cproaudio Speedlock Overrider

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    I don't know what kind of allergy shots you're getting but mine's once a year. Actually, The doctor said I should get the shots every 3 to 6 months. I don't wanna OD on that shit so I tough it out to getting the shots once a year. I just had my shot 2 weeks ago. The doctor warned me that excessive shots can cause bone loss. It's another reason why I get the shots once a year. I've been getting allergy shots for 15 years with no side effects.
  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    thanks for the warning teacakes!
  4. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Hi,
    I have taken allergy shots on & off for 20 years and my wife is an RN too and sounds like they hit you too hard on serum strength. You had a reaction for sure. Your serum is way to strong. I have found out that if you go to a Doctor they will hit you way to light on serum strength but if you go to an ( Allergy Specialist) Ear, Nose & Throat Doctor they slam you. I found if my arm hurts at the shot site for a few minutes after the shot the serum is too strong on a new vial. After you get a shot you should feel nothing at the shot site. With this vial they gave you they should back off a little.

    If there hitting you hard it will take less time to get to "all concentrates" as opposed to a Doctor who will hit you very light for years and never get to max concentrate. You'll be going forever.
    Its a lot of tinkering for sure my wife says and she's right.

    So try to take care of yourself and keep getting the shots as they work.
  5. Teacake

    Teacake OohShiny

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    Certainly! Just trying to be helpful.



    That's good advice. Yes, it was a new vial, but it was also only my very second vial. I'm obviously going to go back to them and stress I need very, very light serum. But I'm so allergic to things now, any little bit of help I think will be beneficial. It's the tinkering that's so tiring, though.
  6. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

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  7. Dipena

    Dipena Senior Member

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    I'm glad you're OK.

    Supposedly sublingual immunotherapy is quite a bit safer, and doesn't take as long to become effective. It's not approved here in the US yet, though.

    Do you think your doctor followed the recommended protocol for immunotherapy by keeping you in the office for observation for the necessary period following your shot, and do you think they gave you enough information to recognize the signs of a reaction? Kind of irresponsible if they didn't. It's a good thing you figured out what was going, because the next time could have been worse.
  8. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    The poll is a little biased. Where are the options of No, never etc?

    I'm not medical but there are risks to all medication. If it wasn't for allergy medication I wouldn't be here.

    Glad you're ok now though :)
  9. Teacake

    Teacake OohShiny

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    Thank you! Yes, I have a friend who does the sublingual drops. But since my folks really like their allergist and it's now right by where I live, I went through them first. I think they did their job, yes. I always wait the recommended 30 minutes afterwards, and as I mentioned, this was 2 hours after the shot when I was back at home. I should have known I'm going to be hyper sensitive to things but I never expected to feel this bad.
  10. Teacake

    Teacake OohShiny

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    Yes, you're right. lol. I didn't realize that at the time I was making it. Imagine "I don't think so" to also count for "No." And I'm with you - if it weren't for anti-allergy medicine, I also wouldn't be here potentially!
  11. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Sub Lingual is not covered by insurance.
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