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February 21, 2012

Allergy Shots in the Leg? Abdomen?

It is not uncommon that we have patients that ask if allergy shots can be administered in the leg (or other part of the body) rather than the usual behind the upper arm.

Before we answer that question, let's ask why we given it in the upper arm in the first place!

1) Easy to access
2) Easy to monitor for any adverse reaction
3) All the good studies done are based on injections administered to the upper arm
4) No good studies performed determining whether injections done at other body sites has equal efficacy to the arm.
5) If anaphylaxis occurs, a tourniquet can be easily applied to the arm proximal to the injection site which theoretically would decrease allergen traveling systemically

Given these answers, is it possible to give allergy shots in other body locations other than the arm?

Yes... BUT...

1) No good studies performed determining whether injections done at other body sites has equal efficacy to the arm.
2) If anaphylaxis occurs, may not be possible to apply a tourniquet easily (if given in the abdomen for example)
3) May not be as easy to monitor for a reaction (if given in the buttocks for example)

SO...

It is recommended that allergy shots be given in the upper arm and not other locations.

Reference:
Ask the expert. AAAAI 2/6/12
Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a solo private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids. Google+ Christopher Chang, MD Bio

1 comment:

  1. I got mine yesterday in the upper arm it is still sore! My mother got hers in the butt and she said it wasn't too bad.

    ReplyDelete

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