In this setting, injections or pills are sometimes the only treatment strong enough to work. It is important to start medications for allergies as soon as symptoms appear, and if you know what time of year your symptoms are typically the worst, then medication can be started a week or two before. If you don't know exactly when to expect your symptoms, it is best to have prescriptions on hand so that you can start the medicines quickly, when you need them.
This approach works far better than waiting until the symptoms become severe and require a much stronger treatment. I am taking allergy shots every week, one for cats and dogs and one for mold and weeds. I have gained 26 pounds since I started the shots six months ago.
Could the shots cause me to gain weight? No, allergy shots are not known to be associated with weight gain. On the other hand, some allergy medications are. If you are taking antihistamines on a regular basis, they may be contributing to your weight gain, as some of them are known to increase appetite. These don't cause weight gain and are generally more effective, when used daily, for nasal allergy symptoms. Another medication that definitely contributes to weight gain is oral steroids, which cause both water retention and actual weight gain.
The doses used in pills are much higher than those in steroid inhalers and nasal sprays, which is why the pills have so many side effects while the inhalers and nasal sprays don't. You didn't mention steroids in your question, but check with your doctor to make sure they aren't a factor for you. Occasionally, I have a patient who feels very tired after his or her shots, which leads to a reduction in activity levels for a couple of days each week.
This could also contribute to weight gain. I would suggest having a focused visit with the allergist who is treating you to think about what might be causing your weight gain. It is a significant amount, and I'm sure you are very frustrated. However, I wouldn't advise just stopping the shots, because there is probably another reason. You would need to factor in any changes that occurred around the same time. For example, are you eating out more, exercising less, or did you change your job activities?
Did you start any new prescription or over-the-counter medications? Also, if you are just six months into the allergy shot process, you are not yet seeing all the improvement that the shots should provide.
That's why it's worthwhile trying to sort out the cause of your weight gain and persist with the shots for at least two years so you can see their full effects. While pregnant, I developed asthma, as well as polyps in my sinuses. He suggested allergy shots, but since I want to get pregnant again, he said I shouldn't start the shots now. Why is that? Do you also suggest that women who are trying to get pregnant avoid allergy shots?
Allergy shots or allergen immunotherapy can be safely continued during pregnancy if a woman has not had any serious reactions to the shots previously, but it is not advised that women begin shots or increase the dose of their shots while pregnant. This is because allergic reactions to the shots, which are uncommon but can be dangerous, occur more often during the initial, buildup stage, when the dose is being increased. A severe allergic reaction could cause low blood pressure in the mother, and the baby might not get enough oxygen for a few minutes.
In addition, the treatment for a severe allergic reaction — which is epinephrine — could temporarily reduce the blood supply to the baby. So rather than taking these risks, allergists avoid beginning or increasing allergy shots during pregnancy, an approach accepted by professional allergy and obstetrical societies. There is some preliminary evidence that mothers who get allergy shots while they are pregnant may lower their baby's risk of being allergic, but more study is needed before this can be considered fact.
You mentioned that the allergy shots were suggested because you had developed nasal polyps. Nasal polyps are a difficult condition to treat, and most people end up having surgery to remove them at some point. After surgery, many patients' polyps grow back within three years, unless something dramatic is done to prevent this.
The approach at my center after surgery is to begin treatment with a combination of medications, including nasal steroid sprays used at maximal dose absolutely every day , montelukast Singulair , and sinus saline rinses once or twice a day. Discuss your options with your allergist or physician. If you live with allergies , ask your doctor about trying sublingual immunotherapy or allergy shots. Both treatments work to desensitize the immune system by introducing the allergen in small amounts, either through shots or orally.
You can also take antihistamines, most of which are offered over the counter, or try avoiding your allergy triggers and making your home a safe space from allergens. Another option is to use nasal corticosteroids, which target only the nose and don't have the systemic side effects steroid shots do. Sign up for our Health Tip of the Day newsletter, and receive daily tips that will help you live your healthiest life.
Yasir M, Sonthalia S. Corticosteroid adverse effects. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Medline Plus. Hydrocortisone injection. May 15, Treating allergic rhinitis with depot-steroid injections increase risk of osteoporosis and diabetes. Respir Med. Conn's current therapy. Table of Contents View All.
Table of Contents. Steroid Shot Alternatives. Takeaway There are far better and safer ways than steroid shots to treat allergies. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Sign Up. What are your concerns? Article Sources.
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