Will Allergy Shots Get Rid Of My Child's Asthma?

Dr. Szefler answers the question: 'Will Allergy Shots Get Rid Of Asthma?'

ByABC News
May 15, 2008, 1:46 PM

— -- Question: Will allergy shots get rid of my child's asthma?

Answer: For the most part, allergy shots -- or allergen immunotherapy -- can be very effective for the treatment of allergic rhinitis -- or runny nose -- or allergic conjunctivitis -- watery eyes.

The studies that have been done to test the effectiveness of allergen immunotherapy in asthma have been less convincing. However, some children respond very well. The children that respond very well tend to be sensitive to one or just a few allergens, and a physician can -- based on allergy tests and symptoms that occur during a particular season -- can gauge the allergen immunotherapy to those one or two allergens.

If a child has multiple allergens, it becomes very difficult to select an allergen immunotherapy that can be effective, because the multiple allergens in the shots don't allow for a high enough dose to reach allergy tolerance.

Therefore, the physician must make an individual decision on whether or not the allergen immunotherapy can be effective for a specific child. One knows whether it's being effective by following the seasonal patterns, and, if the child is not improving, then the physician may decide to stop allergen immunotherapy.

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