How to Self Administer Allergy Shots


Things You'll Need

  • An allergy shot prescription
  • A clean, unused syringe
  • Cotton and alcohol or prepackaged alcohol wipes
  • A biohazard needle container

Allergy shots contain allergens or things you are allergic to. The reasoning behind injecting small doses of allergens is to help your body become accustomed to it so you'll have less of a reaction to that allergen overall. You can get allergy shots for all sorts of allergies, including those to animal dander, pollen or mold. The shot is mix of salt water and a very small amount of the allergen. You get the injection once or twice week for up to six months, with each shot gradually increasing the amount of allergens. Then you receive the full dose every two weeks for another six months to complete the immunotherapy.

Step 1

See your health care provider. You should not take any type of injection without a prescription or the advice of your health care provider. He will determine if you are a good candidate for immunotherapy and if it is advisable for you to self administer the allergy shots. Always follow the directions of your health care provider.

Step 2

Choose an injection site that contains some fat, including your thighs or your stomach. Avoid your belly button, scars or tattoos. Do not inject the shot into the exact same place each time. Each injection site should be about two inches away from old injection sites and old or new wounds.

Step 3

Wash your hands to prevent infection. Then sterilize the injection site with alcohol on a cotton swab or a prepackaged alcohol wipe. Allow the alcohol to completely dry before injecting your allergy shot.

Step 4

Unwrap a clean, unused syringe. Push the plunger all the way down to make sure there is no air in your syringe. Insert the needle into the allergy medication bottle and pull the plunger back until you have the correct dosage in the syringe. There should be no air or bubbles in your syringe. Pinch about two inches of skin around the injection site you have chosen. Inject the needle straight into your skin and push the plunger all the way down, until all the medicine has been pushed out of the syringe.

Step 5

Dispose of your syringe properly. You should have a special biohazard container made for syringe disposal. It will have a sign on the side that warns that it contains sharp objects. When it is full, tape it closed and put the container in the trash can. Do not put it in a syringe in normal trash can without putting it in a bio-hazard container first.

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Tips & Warnings

  • If you feel uncomfortable giving yourself allergy shots, your health care provider can show you how to do it in person. If you still feel uncomfortable, you should tell her so that she can come up with another way for you to receive your allergy shots. Some patients have all their allergy shots administered in the doctor’s office or clinic.
  • Always follow your allergy shot prescription and speak to your health care provider before making any changes.
  • Do not reuse syringes for any reason.
  • If you develop a fever, have trouble breathing or develop a rash after an allergy shot, seek emergency help immediately.


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