Pregnancy can come with a mix of emotions, from joy to worry. Some worries can come from concerns about how certain things, such as medications, foods, drinks and more, may affect the health of the mother and fetus.
Staying informed on what medical treatments can have an adverse effect during pregnancy can help ease some of your worries. Certain allergy medications are not recommended during pregnancy. For instance, decongestants like pseudoephedrine should be avoided during the first trimester to prevent adverse effects on the fetus. Allergy shots, however, do not necessarily need to be stopped during pregnancy.
Let’s discuss how immunotherapy works and what you need to know about how it interacts with the body during pregnancy.
How Does Immunotherapy Work?
Allergy immunotherapy is the practice of receiving regular injections containing small amounts of allergens over a period of time. Each shot contains allergens designed to trigger micro allergic reactions. Allergy shots are generally administered over a period of three to five years. Over the course of the immunotherapy period, the doctor will increase the allergen dosage incrementally to help your body build up tolerance and reduce the severity of allergic reactions.
Allergy Shots and Pregnancy
A nationwide survey on the risk of allergy immunotherapy (AIT) during pregnancy found “no evidence of congenital malformations or other adverse pregnancy outcomes in women treated with AIT in pregnancy.”
Although allergy shots have not been shown to negatively affect the fetus, some individuals may have a negative reaction to new allergy treatments. Adverse reactions to allergy shots can include but are not limited to:
- Trouble breathing
- Blood pressure
- Redness and swelling
- Congestion or runny nose
Because reactions to allergy treatments can be unpredictable, it is not recommended to start immunotherapy during pregnancy. If you have already been treating your allergies with immunotherapy before pregnancy without adverse reactions, continuing your treatment is generally considered safe.
You should always contact your OB-GYN and allergy specialist before you make any decisions regarding allergy treatment during your pregnancy.
For more information on allergy immunotherapy, contact ENT Associates of Worcester today to make an appointment with one of our trusted specialists.