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ACAAI > Patients & Public > Resources > Ask the Allergist

Duration of Allergy Injections

Q: My new Allergist retested me for allergies for mold and trees.  I tested positive for 28. I have been taking allergy shots for 43 years monthly. Yes, 43 years.  I am 56 years old.  My new doctor suggested that I stop taking allergy shots because she said they are no longer benefiting me.  I am so confused.  I have not had a cold and allergy problems for the past 20 years.  I am so afraid that if I stop taking the shots, I will get sick again.  I am so lucky to be very healthy and I attribute that to my allergy shots.  What do you think?  I just spent 1 hour on the web reading aaai and acaai and can't find a page where this addressed.  The only I found was that I may feel good for 3 yrs.  Isn't my body relying on these shots after 43 years.  Please respond as soon as possible.  My doctor wants me to make up my mind.  She will keep me as a patient and continue to give me my regular shots for only 1 more year.

A: The most prudent path is to stop the shots for a while and see how the patient does.  The three year concept comes from a study that only lasted 3 years and so the study didn't answer what truly happens- and that is some people are "cured forever", in others symptoms come back.  My own policy is to recommend after 5 years that patients quit and see how they do. Many patients over the years stay well, others need to resume allergy shots. In that case after another 5 years they don't want to quit again and I understand that.  I think the allergist's recommendation is sound since skin tests can be positive and patients are not symptomatic from the allergies.  I hope this discussion is helpful.

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