Steroid Shot for Allergies

The human body has a unique defense system called the immune system. The task of immune system is to fight germs and protect the body from infections and diseases. The immune system can sometimes lead to allergic reactions which are nothing but false alarms in most of the cases. Sneezing, swelling, runny nose, itching, asthma or rashes are few of the symptoms that can be caused by allergies. Allergies can be diagnosed by skin and blood tests. Allergy shots, medicines and avoidance of allergens are few of the treatments. Steroid shot for allergies is one such treatment for allergic reactions. For those who don’t know, steroids are man-made medications with anabolic-androgenic steroids (a male sex hormone) and anti-inflammatory corticosteroids as its main types.

How Does Steroid Shot for Allergies Work?

According to WebMD, steroids which can decrease inflammation/infection that are linked with allergies are medically termed as corticosteroids. They are used to treat and prevent sneezing, itchy, runny nose and nasal stuffiness which are caused by seasonal or year-round allergies. Steroids can also help in reducing swelling and inflammation from other kinds of allergic reactions.

Why It Helps

The hormone, cortisol, produced by adrenal glands above the kidney has strong anti-inflammatory effect, which plays an important role in medicating allergy-causing histamine. Corticosteroids replicate or mimic the effects of this hormone. The allergic inflammation caused by the immune system is suppressed when the steroids are taken in levels that exceed the body's regular levels.

Advantages

Steroid shots for allergy, when compared to sprays, are of a higher dose as they are an overall allergy treatment. Whenever a person has severe symptoms of allergy which disrupts their normal work routine for many days or weeks altogether, then doctors may prescribe a dose of corticosteroid injection or pills to take by mouth. There are situations when the only way to overcome the allergies is through pills or shots of steroids.

How to Use Steroid Shot for Allergies

Steroids have to be taken routinely on a daily basis even when the symptoms of allergy are not present in order to get the best result. Besides, the medicine may not be effective immediately and may take a week or two to show the desired results.

Steroid shot for allergy is a great way to get through the allergy season safe and sound. You should know that immunotherapy or allergy injections are a series of shots that are administered over a period of many months to years. They are usually not given as a one-time treatment. This also means they have long lasting effects, like the triamcinolone (Kenalog), a three month allergy shot.

Does Using Steroid Shot for Allergies Have Any Side Effects?

Here are 2 precautions in using steroids allergy shots:

  • In present day, people tend to self-medicate, but it is safer and better to utilize corticosteroid medications as per the doctor's advice. For example some corticosteroids for nasal symptoms are to be sprayed into the nose, whereas for allergy-related asthma the medicine is inhaled into the lungs, instead of taking corticosteroids in shots or the pill form.
  • If just parts of the body are affected, it is unnecessary to take a whole body medication like the shots or pills because the dose of medication in oral or injected corticosteroids is much greater than the dose of medication in the sprays which in turn lead to greater side effects.

Side Effects of Injected Corticosteroids

These shots can lead to momentary side effects around the injected area, such as facial flushing, skin thinning, insomnia, high blood sugar and skin color loss. Based on the patient's health condition, doctors will prescribe only three to four corticosteroid injections per year.

Other side effects of steroids one may encounter include:

  • When used regularly for a short-term: weight gain, fluid retention, high blood pressure, etc.
  • The potential side effects with long-term use: cataracts of the eyes, growth suppression, bone thinning osteoporosis, muscle weakness, diabetes, etc.

How to Handle the Side Effects of Steroid Shot for Allergies

Every medicine that is man-made has its own side effects which manifest themselves when the said medicine is taken over an extensive period of time. Steroid Shot for Allergy is not any different, but with proper managements these side effects can be minimized. A few steps to prevent or reduce the side effects are as follows:

  • Use occasional, low doses: Instead getting used to high doses of medication, request your doctor for low dose of steroids which can be taken on alternate days in lieu of daily basis.
  • Change to non-oral forms: When steroids are inhaled or taken in the spray form, instead of injection or pills, they help treat the affected areas such as lungs directly thus decreasing the side effects on the body as a whole.
  • Develop healthy life patterns: Regular exercise and healthy eating are the best ways to counteract the side effects of steroids such as weight gain and muscle weakness.
  • Be careful while terminating therapy: When the time comes for discontinuing the steroids, make sure that it is done gradually in order to avoid symptoms like light-headedness, fatigue and body aches.
  • Wear a bracelet for medical alert: If a person has been using corticosteroids for a long duration, then it is better to wear a medical alert bracelet or other similar identification.
  • Get frequent medical check-ups: In case of long-term therapy, it is better to check regularly for side effects.

Other Steroid Medications for Allergy

Except for steroid shot for allergies, there are various other forms of steroids available to treat different forms of allergies and symptoms. Some of them are listed below:

  • Liquids or pills and inhalers act locally for serious allergies or asthma;
  • Nasal sprays act locally for year-round or seasonal allergies;
  • Creams can be topically applied for skin allergies or eye drops can be used for conjunctivitis;
  • Prescription steroids for nasal use such as Nasocort, generic fluticasone, Beconase, Veramyst are utilised to treat allergy reactions;
  • OTC nasal steroids can help, such as Flonase Allergy Relief;
  • Inhaled steroids such as Flovent, Asmanex, Pulmicort, Azmacort, Q-Var, Aerobid and Alvesco are utilised to treat asthma. Symbicort and Advair are bronchodilators which can be inhaled;
  • Eye drops such as Dexamethasone and Alrex also provide relief.
 
 
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