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Old 12-07-2005, 08:03 AM   #1
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Allergy Shots - leg vs. arm

When I get allergy shots in my leg instead of my arm the reaction is much worse. I suspect it has to do with the extra fat in my leg... I don't have much fat in my arms. I've been getting shots in my arm (mostly) for about a year and not had much improvement (reached maintenance about 4 months ago)... but I'm wondering if I switch to my leg if they'll work better. I'm reluctant to do this, however, because I'll basically have to start over with lower doses ... the reaction is that much worse when injected into my leg.

So, my question is: Does anyone have any idea whether allergy shots work better if injected into the leg (i.e. where the reaction is more severe)? My allergist responded with a blank, curious look when I posed the question. I had a similar reaction when I paid my bill.

Also, as an aside, if you're getting allergy shots for mold, I've read that you should have a separate shot. In other words, don't combine the mold with any other allergins because it may not work as well. I posed this question to my allergist and she agreed. We then broke out the mold. The downside is I now get two shots instead of one... but if it works, it's worth it.

 
Old 12-07-2005, 11:22 AM   #2
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Re: Allergy Shots - leg vs. arm

I've never heard any of that. And I just finished my 3rd time on allergy shots! When I gave them to myself (2nd time around), those wee in my leg because you can't give yourself one in the arm. The only time I questioned the location on my arm was when I got my flu shot at the same time as my allergy shots and they gavethem in a different location in my arm. I was told a reason having to do with intra-muscle or something that I really don't recall.

As for the mold being in with other allergens, I've always had two shots (all 3 times) and it was because the molecules of various allergens are of different size and the fluid is therefore thicker or thinner - thereby dictating which can be mixed together and which cannot. And I was told that all three times and all by different doctors/nurses. Hope this helps.

 
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Old 12-07-2005, 12:19 PM   #3
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Re: Allergy Shots - leg vs. arm

Thanks for your comments.

I was actually told by the doctor that some people have a much worse reaction to allergy shots when given in the leg, as opposed to the arm. So, I know I'm not alone. Unfortunately, the doctor couldn't tell me which way, if either, would make the shots more effective. Just wondering if anyone has found that they work better in one place or the other (assuming there is a more sensitive reaction in the leg).

I'm guessing that since the idea of allergy shots is to desensitize yourself, you should get stuck where you are most sensitive and work your way up from there??? Again, I don't want to start over again unless it makes sense to.

Last edited by Icky_Metal; 12-07-2005 at 12:20 PM.

 
Old 12-07-2005, 03:33 PM   #4
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Re: Allergy Shots - leg vs. arm

I have never heard of doctors administering shots in the legs. It makes sense if you are giving the shot to yourself, but I don't understand why a doctor would do that.

Having had shots a few times, with the serums mixed up in different ways, I can most definitely say in your case, I would continue to get the shots in the arm. In South Carolina, I had 2 shots, one with tree pollens, and one with everything else. But because my dustmite allergy was so high, they had to keep diluting the serum with the dustmites, and I never progressed with that vile until they seperated the dustmite out of it. The progress with the trees, on the other hand, was noticable that spring, and I had only started in January.

So IMHO, it would make no sense to me to give shots where you body can't tolerate the shot as well. Your goal is to get the shot up to a high enough concentration that it can make a difference and desensitize you. That is less likely to happen if you give yourself shots in your leg which gets worse reactions, and you will have to keep backtracking and diluting or repeatting the same dose over and over.

 
Old 12-07-2005, 04:12 PM   #5
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Re: Allergy Shots - leg vs. arm

Sneezy makes a good point that I had not thought of. Also, do you take an antihistamine before your shots? That would help with reactions no matter which site was used. Odd fact, the doctor who put me on the shots the first two times I was on them (retired many years ago) would not allow an antihistamine within 24 hours either way of an injection. My current doc (and most of those I've heard about now) suggest taking one day of the shot. I guess times have changed....

 
Old 12-08-2005, 07:04 AM   #6
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Re: Allergy Shots - leg vs. arm

Thanks for your thoughtful comments. I'll continue with the shots in my arm.

 
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