Immunotherapy (Allergy Shots)

You should always consult with a Board Certified Allergist

before beginning a program of allergy shots. Board-certified

allergists are specially trained to develop a

customized  formula for each patient.








Am I a candidate for immunotherapy?

It is often impossible to avoid the allergens that can cause allergy symptoms and medications don't always provide enough relief. Immunotherapy, or allergy shots may provide the long-term relief that allergy sufferers are looking for and significantly improve quality of life. Research has clearly demonstrated the effectiveness of immunotherapy for both allergies and asthma.

How do allergy shots work?

Allergy shots increase the body's tolerance to those things to which the patient is allergic, such as pollens, animal danders, dust, mites, and molds.

Our immune systems can mistake harmless substances such as animal danders, mold spores, dust mites, or pollens as dangerous and release chemicals into our bodies. These chemicals create symptoms like runny nose, itchy eyes, and sneezing. More serious symptoms like swelling of the throat, coughing or wheezing can also occur. Allergy shots increase your tolerance to the " harmful allergens" and suppress the underlying response to the allergic triggers.


How often do I receive these injections?

Allergy shots are given weekly for the first 4-6 months while the dose is slowly increased. Once the patient has reached his or her maintenance dose the frequency becomes every other week for three visits and then monthly. Consistency is important.

Can I have a reaction to my allergy shots?

Yes, although it is rare to have a severe reaction. We require our patients to remain in our office for 30 minutes after every allergy injection. Most allergic reactions will occur within 30 minutes after an exposure. Our medical staff is specially trained to manage an allergic reaction if it were to occur.
Continuing on your anti-histamine will help with any local swelling or redness at the injection site.


This will be discussed thoroughly with you if you and your physician decide that allergy shots are appropriate for you.
 

How much do allergy shots cost?

Before you begin immunotherapy, here are a few things you should know:

1.)  We recommend you call your insurance company to verify what your coverage will be for immunotherapy
 2.)  When you call your insurance company, please give them the following billing codes (cpt codes).
 3.)  The initial extract will be made prior to your injection visit. 
The initial set will be billed using billing code #95165. The initial set of extracts will be good for one year.   After   the initial extract billing, your extracts will be billed every six months in the amount using the same  #95165 billing code.


Extract for allergy immunotherapy – 95165.
1 Injection for allergy immunotherapy – 95115
2 or more injections for allergy immunotherapy – 95117


When you come in for your injections we will only be billing for the injection.  If you only receive 1 shot, we will bill using billing code #95115.  If you receive 2 or more shots, we will bill using billing code #95117.

 
 With the information provided above, your insurance company should be able to tell you what your copay or co-insurance will be for your extracts and for your injections.

 
 Your copay will be due at the time of your injections.  Please be prepared to make your copay at every shot visit.  We do not allow monthly billing for shot copays/co-insurance.  You may pay ahead and leave a credit on your account for future shot visits.


 If you have any questions regarding the billing information provided, please call our billing department at 
(603)-436-7897, extension 3, or email Jen@allergynh.com

Our allergy injection clinic is walk-in and on a first -come first- served basis. You can call our office at 
(603)-436-7897  to get updates regarding closings for holidays, weather etc.

Please check in 1 hour prior to the end of injection times if you are in the building phase ( 2 sets of injections) with venom de-sensitization. We require our allergy patients wait in the office 30 minutes after an injection. 

Also, we require parents to wait in our office with their children (minor is younger then 18). 

* If you are on allergy shots because you are allergic to stinging insects please arrive 1 hour prior to the end of injection times.

Stinging Insect Allergy

Some people are allergic to insect stings. This means that

their immune systems overreact to the venom injected by

a stinging insect.


* Insects to which people can have allergic reactions

include members of the Hymenoptera class:
  o Honey Bee
o Yellow Jacket
                                                         o Wasp
                                                           o Yellow Hornet
                                                          o White-faced Hornet
                                                       o Wasp
                                                        o Fire Ants


* Symptoms may include only redness, swelling and itching at the site of the sting. Some people have large local reactions (large amount of swelling contiguous to the site of the sting). Unfortunately, more serious and potentially life threatening reactions called anaphylaxis can occur. Symptoms can include hives, swelling, trouble breathing, loss of consciousness and sometimes death.


    * To avoid stinging insects, it is important to learn what they look like and where they live. If you live in the south, the Yellow Jacket or the fire ant are the most likely insects to sting you. Honey Bees are the culprits in California and fire ants are present in the South west. Children and adults are approached differently depending on their reactions. If you are a child and have just skin reactions such as hives or swelling, research has shown that you are at little risk for more life threatening reactions and you will not benefit from allergy shots for insects. Conversely, adults with more than a local reaction should be evaluated for insect allergy and consider venom immunotherapy if they are allergic.


    * Contrary to popular belief, an individual's pattern of reactivity to a sting usually repeats itself. If you develop hives only after being stung, the same will happen if stung again in the majority of patients. There is generally not a progressive worsening of symptoms with future stings. All adults with anaphylactic reactions and children who have more than skin reactions should be evaluated by a board certified allergist.


Statistics:

 * At least 40 deaths occur annually in the United States from reactions to insect stings. A severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis occurs in 0.5 to 5% of the U.S. population as a result of insect stings.
    * Venom immunotherapy prevents systemic reactions in stinging insect-sensitive patients 97% of the time.


***See how well you know your stinging insects, click on the link. 


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Immunotherapy