Comparing Allergy Shot Schedules: Traditional, Cluster, and Rush

If avoidance and medication do not help a patient find relief, we recommend immunotherapy, also known as allergy shots. Allergy shots can desensitize you to bothersome allergens. Patients are given increasing doses of allergens to build up an immunity and decrease their allergic reaction. Allergy shots are given in two phases: Build-up and Maintenance.

Build-up phase:

Initially, patients are started at a low dose and gradually built up, receiving increasing amounts of the allergens. Once this phase is complete, most patients begin to feel the effects and find relief. To reach the maintenance phase, we offer several schedule options to help patients find relief. See the table below:

TraditionalClusterRush
1-3 shots per week2 appointments a week (approx. 2 hours)1-2 full day appointment(s)
3-6 months to reach maintenance4-6 weeks to reach maintenance1-2 days to reach maintenance
No appointments requiredAppointments requiredAppointment(s) required

For more information on accelerated schedules, visit:

Cluster Allergy Shots

Rush Allergy Shots

Maintenance phase:

After an effective dosage is reached, a patient will reduce the frequency of injections. Patients are typically on immunotherapy for 3-5 years. Over time, their visits to get allergy shots will decrease from 1x a week to 1x every several weeks.

Premedication

Due to the increased dose of allergens given during the cluster and rush schedule, there is a higher risk of a reaction, though still rare. These accelerated schedules require patients to pre-medicate before the program begins to reduce that risk further.

Insurance Coverage

The majority of insurance plans cover both traditional immunotherapy and these accelerated programs; however, some do not. We recommend contacting your insurance provider to learn what your plan will cover.

If you are interested in allergy shots, please schedule an appointment to discuss the best options for your care.