Corticosteroid meds are often used for combating allergies. Steroid shots (allergen immunotherapy) are a treatment option. Many people wonder: “How long does a steroid shot for allergies last?” In this article, we’ll give a clear answer to this and other frequent questions.
Steroids for Allergies — Main Features and Types
The adrenal glands’ cortex produces corticosteroid hormones that perform various important duties in the human body. They are responsible for the vast majority of biochemical processes and serve as regulators of the basic body mechanisms, control the immune system, blood glucose rates, and protein, carbohydrate, water-salt metabolism. Synthetic corticosteroids are used as medicines for inflammation and allergic diseases.
Steroids don’t belong to priority remedies for treating allergies. They are usually opted for if antihistamines and other preparations fail to show the expected results in removing the condition. Steroids may diminish the quantity of mucus formation, minimize the nasal mucosa swelling and remove other manifestations of the disorder.
Usually, physicians recommend applying steroids before the onset of seizures. It may take a certain amount of time until you achieve wished-for outcomes. Recently, pharmacies have started the distribution of steroid drugs, designed for nose inhalations in small doses. However, these meds’ influence is limited only to the nasal mucosa and doesn’t touch other zones. Inhaled steroids are a great remedy for treating patients with hay fever. They are safe and rarely trigger adverse effects.
Corticosteroids are available in both aerosol (steroid nasal spray) and nose drops forms. These methods are equally effective, but drops are more acceptable if your nasal sinuses are clogged. Drops penetrate the affected area without problems, providing fast relief. As soon as the medicament has cleared the clogged nasal passages and eliminated swelling, they can apply inhalation.
When administering the product, make sure it gets directly into the mucous membrane and keeps on it for at least several minutes. If the drug flows down the posterior pharyngeal wall, you won’t notice any considerable effectiveness.
If you face severe signs of the ailment, your physician may recommend a short treatment course, containing systemic steroids. Prednisolone, offered in the tablet form for oral intake belongs to this category of medicines. Unfortunately, steroids, manufactured and distributed in the form of pills, are associated with numerous undesirable side effects. It significantly distinguishes them from aerosols since a much smaller amount of liquid appears in the blood after the inhalation. Another type of anti-allergic steroids is injectable corticosteroids. They also have a systemic, powerful impact.
Steroid Shots for Allergies: Immunotherapeutic Approach
Allergen immunotherapy (AIT, allergy shots or injections), is a durable treatment that removes symptoms of allergic rhinitis, asthma, eye allergy, and allergic reactions to bites and stings. Allergy steroid injections are very forceful remedies. But corticosteroid injections can trigger a great number of negative consequences that range from jitteriness to excess weight and sleeping disorders. Prolonged use of steroid injections and their abuse may induce more severe adverse effects. AIT is the only therapy that can change the course of allergic disease. We made this statement in “International consensus on allergy immunotherapy” (Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 2015) reached by M. Jutel, I. Agache, S. Bonini and dozens of other leading medical scientists from the following institutions and hospitals:
- Wrocław Medical University
- Royal Sussex County Hospital
- MRC & Asthma UK Centre
- Beijing Institute of Otolaryngology
- DIMI-University of Genoa
- Royal Sussex County Hospital
- Monash University
- Padua General University Hospital
- Hospital Médica Sur
- University Hospital of Montpellier-INSERM, and others
Steroid Shot for Allergies: How Long Does It Last?
Corticosteroid injections are designed for gradual and slow release of a steroid dose into the organism. The medicine reduces inflammatory reactions throughout the body, including the nose tissues, thus inhibiting the occurrence of allergic reactions.
Allergen immunotherapy decreases sensitivity to allergen agents. It may often induce prolonged relief of allergies even after the therapy is stopped. For some individuals, these drugs may become less efficient over time.
Side Effects of the Shots
Since the steroid drug affects not only the nose but also other systems and organs, it can be the reason of various adverse events. They can be short term and long-term.
The first category includes the following conditions:
- A gigantic appetite
- Poor sleep
- Rapid mood swings
- Excess weight gain because of water retention
- Face redness
The second group may trigger:
- Cardiovascular illnesses
- Development of some infectious afflictions
- Elevated risk of diabetes mellitus and osteoporosis
- Cushing syndrome (an ailment caused by an overabundance of cortisol hormone)
- High arterial pressure
In addition, those who suffer from different chronic ailments may experience even more unwished outcomes from corticosteroid shots. Each disease is accompanied by different adverse events, for instance:
- Diabetes — boosted blood glucose levels
- High blood pressure — arterial tension indicators may uplift (as with using anabolic steroids, such as testosterone propionate)
- Glaucoma — eye pressure indicators may raise
- Heart failure — liquid retention, worsening symptoms
So if you have any chronic ailment, inform your healthcare professional about this when discussing your therapy cycle to avoid side effects from corticosteroid shots.
The conclusion: there are safer methods of treating allergies than injections of corticosteroids, however, according to the international consensus, only this treatment can shift the disease’s course.
Steroid Shots Alternatives (Other Choices)
An innovative alternative to steroid injections for the abolition of allergies is sublingual allergen-specific immunotherapy. Its action’s peculiarities imply a reduction of the body’s sensitivity, the gradual immune system adaptation and the appearance of correct responsiveness to the allergen.
There are two ways of administration of allergen-specific immunotherapy: by subcutaneous injection or sublingually (drops and tablets are available). They aim this treatment at shrinking all unpleasant moments of the manipulation, which plays a crucial role for both children and adults, who desire the procedure to be painless and more or less comfortable.
Regardless of the way you take the medications, in a few months treatment, you will experience a decline in allergy symptoms. The cycle’s continuance and its intensity are determined by the specific characteristic of each patient (individual approach is very important for gaining success). You will experience the enhanced immunity and persistent remission of allergies in a couple of years after the course’s termination.
Another option is the use of nasal corticosteroids (which has been mentioned above). They don’t have any systemic effect. Also, they are less harmful than injectable steroids.
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