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Allergy Drops vs. Allergy Shots

With so many state-of-the-art allergy treatments available – shots, tablets and drops – it can be challenging to decide which one is right for you. You may be given a choice between allergy drops and traditional allergy shots. Here are some points to consider when deciding on the best treatment option for you:

How often?

Shots are administered in the allergy office once to twice a week for three to six months; then once to twice a month for three to five years total. Drops are self-administered once daily under the tongue at home, most often for three to five years total.

How long?

Allergy shots can start working within three to six months and definitely within 12 months, depending on how frequently you receive shots. Some studies show that drops start working within eight weeks of therapy, while other studies show that it may take one to two years to receive benefits from therapy.

How safe?

Allergy shots are safe but need to be given under physician supervision. Patients receiving allergy shots then need to be monitored for 15 to 20 minutes, given the small chance of a serious allergic reaction occurring. Allergy drops are extremely safe – no fatal reactions have ever been reported, although severe reactions have rarely occurred. Allergy drops can be self-administered at home without direct medical supervision.

Which works better?

Studies suggest that allergy shots are about twice as effective as drops.

How much?

Most medical insurance covers a significant portion of allergy shots, although co-payments and annual deductibles also apply. Since allergy drops are not FDA-approved, they are not covered by insurance. The cost of allergy drops, however, may be offset by what you save by not spending time and travel costs to visit your physician’s office to get your allergy shots.

Ultimately, you and Dr. Mardiney will decide together which therapy is right for you and your specific needs.

Don’t suffer with allergies or asthma any longer. Call Advanced Allergy & Asthma Centers at 443-987-6998 in Bel Air or 443-519-2128 in Lutherville and Towson. Or use our convenient Request an Appointment form. We also welcome patients from Baltimore and Carney.