A "local" reaction is a red, itchy, slightly swollen area at the injection site. If necessary, it is usually treated by applying a cold compress, or ice pack, to the reaction area and taking an antihistamine. The nurse will make a note of this type of reaction when checking your arm at the end of the required twenty minute waiting time. If a local reaction occurs after you leave the office, please inform the office prior to your next injection.
"Systemic" reactions" occur less frequently and are more serious. This can include the following symptoms: sneezing, itchy/watery eyes, generalized itching, hives, chest tightness, wheezing, or even shock. Notify someone in the clinic immediately if you have any of these symptoms. The situation will be promptly assessed and treatment initiated if indicated. Fortunately, if treated promptly, these reactions do not usually last more than one hour.
The chances and severity of a systemic reaction are time dependent. Most serious systemic reactions occur within 20 minutes of the injection. For this reason you will be asked to remain in the office area for twenty(20) minutes after your injection. There will be no exceptions.
If you have a reaction, your immunotherapy dose will be adjusted so that you can continue your shots safely.