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Health A-Z

Medical Content Created by the Faculty of the
Harvard Medical School

How It's Done

When you get an allergy shot, a small amount of allergen is injected under the skin, usually in the fleshy part of the upper arm. In the beginning, injections are typically given once a week. After that, the doses of allergen are increased gradually with each injection.

The maximum dose, called a maintenance dose, is reached after four to six months. The maintenance dose is given once a week or once every two weeks. After several months, the injection schedule may be reduced to once every three or four weeks. A full course of allergy shots usually takes between three and five years.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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