What should I know before getting allergy shots?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Allergy shots appear to be effective for children under age 5, and may prevent asthma in this age group. However, allergy shots are typically not given to infants and toddlers because they may not be able to communicate that they are having an allergic reaction. Injections can also be traumatic for very young children.

Having arrhythmia, COPD, coronary artery disease, or high blood pressure lowers your chances of surviving a severe reaction to an allergy shot. Unstable angina or a recent heart attack also lower your chances.

If you are pregnant and are already taking allergy shots, they may be continued safely. Starting allergy shots while pregnant is not recommended. There is no risk to the infant if a woman takes allergy shots while breastfeeding.

Severe or poorly controlled asthma increases your risk for a severe reaction to an allergy shot.

This answer was adapted from Sharecare's award-winning AskMD app. Start a consultation now to find out what's causing your symptoms, learn how to manage a condition, or find a doctor.

Continue Learning about Allergies Treatments

Do's and Don'ts to Calm Itchy, Watery Eyes
Do's and Don'ts to Calm Itchy, Watery Eyes
Endless sneezing and stuffed-up noses drive most allergy sufferers to see their doctors. But many people put up with itchy, watery eyes and dark under...
Read More
When is rapid immunotherapy used?
Paul M. Ehrlich, MDPaul M. Ehrlich, MD
Rapid immunotherapy is not for everyone. There's always a danger of a severe response from the rapid...
More Answers
How is immunotherapy improving?
Paul M. Ehrlich, MDPaul M. Ehrlich, MD
Current research holds the promise of much safer courses of immunotherapy. One promising avenue is c...
More Answers
What should I do if someone is having an allergic reaction?
 Dr. Kathleen Handal, MD Dr. Kathleen Handal, MD
If you see someone having an allergic reaction:  Do not pick up animals that can bite or sting. Do...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.