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Allergen Immunotherapies: Uses, Common Brands, and Safety Info

Allergen immunotherapies, known as allergy shots, are medications used to desensitize the immune system to specific allergens. They are primarily used for respiratory allergies like hay fever and asthma. Common brands include Stallergenes Greer, ALK, and Merck. Safety is crucial as there is a risk of allergic reactions. These therapies should be administered under medical supervision in a controlled environment.

Allergen Immunotherapies

Allergen immunotherapies, also known as allergy shots, are a class of medications used to treat allergies by desensitizing the immune system to specific allergens. This form of therapy aims to reduce or eliminate symptoms caused by allergies and potentially prevent the development of new allergies.


Allergen immunotherapies are primarily used to treat respiratory allergies, such as hay fever (allergic rhinitis) and allergic asthma. They can also be effective in managing allergies to insect stings and certain types of food. These therapies are particularly beneficial for individuals who experience significant symptoms or whose allergies do not respond well to other treatments.

Allergy shots work by exposing the immune system to gradually increasing amounts of the allergen(s) responsible for triggering an allergic reaction. Over time, the immune system becomes less sensitive to these allergens, leading to reduced symptoms and improved quality of life.

Common Brands

There are several brands that offer allergen immunotherapy products, and the specific formulation and administration may vary. Some of the well-known brands include:

  • Stallergenes Greer: This company offers a range of allergen immunotherapy products, including sublingual tablets, subcutaneous allergenic extracts, and subcutaneous allergenic extracts with adjuvants.

  • ALK: ALK produces allergen extracts for subcutaneous administration, such as Alutard SQ and Allpyral SQ, which are used for specific allergens like pollen, animals, and mites.

  • Merck: Merck manufactures the product known as Grastek, which is an orally disintegrating tablet used for the treatment of grass pollen allergy.

It is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate allergen immunotherapy product for an individual's specific allergy needs.


Allergen immunotherapies should be administered under the supervision of a healthcare professional in a medical facility equipped to manage potential allergic reactions. The initial stages of treatment usually involve receiving injections with increasing doses of the allergen at regular intervals over several months. Maintenance therapy, with injections given less frequently, follows the initial phase.

Although allergen immunotherapies are generally safe, they do carry the risk of allergic reactions, ranging from mild symptoms such as itching and redness at the injection site to more severe reactions like breathing difficulties and anaphylaxis. For this reason, it is crucial to undergo this treatment in a controlled environment where appropriate medical assistance can be provided in case of an adverse reaction.

It is important to note that allergen immunotherapies may not be suitable for everyone. Individuals with certain medical conditions, such as severe asthma or heart disease, or those taking medications that may interfere with treatment, should be cautious and thoroughly discuss the benefits and risks with their healthcare provider.

In conclusion, allergen immunotherapies are a valuable class of medications used to treat allergies by desensitizing the immune system. These therapies are commonly employed for respiratory allergies, and various brands provide allergen immunotherapy products tailored to specific allergens. While generally safe, these treatments should only be administered by healthcare professionals in a controlled setting due to the risk of allergic reactions.

List of Allergen Immunotherapies