What is in Your Allergy Shots?

Allergy shots contain those allergens that were positive on skin testing (a positive test is a 2 or higher in the PR column) after your physician considers your history and environmental exposures.

A formula or “recipe” is written by your physician and sent to the antigen department where the extract is made. There are guidelines for mixing extracts, and a certain amount of experience on the allergist’s part to optimize this process; Dr. Niemi has been developing extracts for over 14 years.

But, let’s go a little deeper with this question. Where do we get the pollen, dander, mold spores and dust (and dust mite) that we use to make the allergy extract? The pollens are collected from cultivated fields, green houses, or from nature by vacuum collection or a drying process. The pollens are then filtered extensively to isolate single pollen and to remove contaminants. Animal dander is collected from the pelt and skin of healthy animals. Mold spores and dust mites allergens are cultivated in controlled conditions in laboratories.

The industry is rigorously monitored and each allergen is standardized to minimize variations. This is important to insure a constant potency. Finally, each allergen batch is tested before being approved for human use.

A Note on Food Allergies

Immunotherapy to food allergies has not been proven safe and effective; therefore, foods will not be put in your allergy injections. The best treatment for food allergies is avoidance of that food.