April 5, 2023

The Risks of Allergy Steroid Shots: What You Need to Know

As allergy season approaches, many allergy inflicted individuals may be seeking relief from their symptoms. One treatment option that may be recommended by a healthcare provider is a steroid shot. But how exactly does a steroid shot for allergies work? In this article, we will explore the mechanism of action behind this treatment and its potential benefits and risks.

What are Steroid Shots for Allergies?

Steroid shots, also known as corticosteroid injections, are a type of medication that can be used to relieve inflammation and swelling caused by a variety of conditions, including allergies. These injections contain synthetic versions of the hormones that the body naturally produces in response to stress, known as corticosteroids. When injected into the body, these synthetic hormones help reduce inflammation and swelling, which can alleviate allergy symptoms.

How Do Steroid Shots for Allergies Work?

Allergy symptoms, such as runny nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes, are caused by the body's immune system overreacting to allergens such as pollen, dust mites, and pet dander. This overreaction leads to the release of inflammatory molecules called cytokines, which cause the swelling and inflammation associated with allergy symptoms.

Steroid shots work by suppressing the immune system's response to these cytokines, thereby reducing inflammation and swelling. When injected into the body, the corticosteroids in the shot bind to receptors on immune cells, preventing them from releasing cytokines. This, in turn, reduces the intensity of the body's inflammatory response and alleviates allergy symptoms.

Benefits of Steroid Shots for Allergies

Steroid shots for allergies can provide quick and effective relief from allergy symptoms. They are often used when other allergy treatments, such as oral antihistamines and nasal sprays, have not been effective. Some of the benefits of steroid shots for allergies include:

1. Rapid Relief: Steroid shots can provide relief from allergy symptoms in as little as 24 to 48 hours.

2. Targeted Treatment: Steroid shots are injected directly into the affected area, providing targeted relief from allergy symptoms.

3. Reduced Need for Medication: Steroid shots can reduce the need for other allergy medications, such as oral antihistamines and nasal sprays.

4. Improved Quality of Life: Relief from allergy symptoms can improve the overall quality of life by reducing discomfort and allowing individuals to participate in activities they may have avoided due to allergies.

It's important to note that steroid shots for allergies should only be administered by a healthcare professional and should not be used as a long-term solution for allergy management. Steroid shots can have side effects, and their use should be carefully monitored by a healthcare professional.

Are There Risks Associated with Steroid Shots for Allergies?

Like any medication, steroid shots for allergies carry some risks. The most common side effects of steroid shots are temporary and include:

  • Pain or swelling at the injection site
  • Flushing or redness of the face
  • Insomnia or sleep disturbances
  • Increased appetite or weight gain
  • Mood changes, such as irritability or anxiety

More serious side effects are quite rare, but they can include:

  • Allergic reactions, such as hives, itching, or difficulty breathing
  • Increased risk of infections
  • Weakening of bones and increased risk of fractures
  • Increased risk of cataracts or glaucoma
  • Suppression of the adrenal gland, leading to a temporary decrease in the body's production of natural steroids

It's important to discuss any concerns about the risks and benefits of steroid shots with your healthcare provider. They can help you weigh the potential benefits of the medication against the potential risks and side effects.

Steroid shots are generally considered safe when used as directed and under the supervision of a healthcare provider. However, they are not recommended for long-term use due to the risk of side effects. If you are receiving steroid shots for allergies, your healthcare provider will likely monitor you closely for any signs of side effects or complications.

What's a Safer Alternative for Steroid Shots?

To avoid the risks of steroid shots, it's better to consult a specialist and develop an allergy immunotherapy plan. Allergy immunotherapy involves gradually exposing a person to small amounts of an allergen to help their immune system become desensitized to it. This can be done through allergy injections or sublingual immunotherapy (under-the-tongue tablets or drops).

Allergy immunotherapy is a safe and effective alternative to steroid shots for treating allergic reactions. It can provide long-term relief for allergies and can even reduce the need for medications like steroids.

In addition, lifestyle changes such as avoiding allergens and using air purifiers can also help manage allergies without the need for steroid shots. It's important to work with a healthcare provider to develop a personalized treatment plan that is safe and effective for your specific allergy needs.

Over time, the immune system becomes desensitized to the allergen, reducing or eliminating allergy symptoms. This approach is effective and does not carry the same risks as steroid shots. It's important to work with a healthcare provider to determine the best course of treatment for individual needs.

Why Sublingual Immunotherapy is a Better Option than Shots

Allergy immunotherapy, or allergy drops, is a better option than shots for some people because it is a more convenient and comfortable treatment option. Allergy drops are taken under the tongue rather than through injections, which can be painful and require frequent visits to a healthcare provider.

Additionally, allergy drops can be taken at home, making it easier for people to adhere to their treatment plans. Shots, on the other hand, require regular visits to a healthcare provider for administration.

Allergy drops are also considered safer than shots because they do not carry the risk of anaphylaxis, a severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. This is because the dose of the allergen in allergy drops is much lower than in shots.

Overall, sublingual immunotherapy can be a more convenient and safer option for some people with allergies, making it an important alternative to consider when developing a treatment plan.


Steroid shots may provide relief for allergy symptoms, but they come with potential risks and side effects that should be discussed with a healthcare provider. Allergy immunotherapy offers a safer alternative for long-term allergy management. It's important to work with a healthcare provider to determine the best course of treatment for individual needs.

At Curex, we understand how debilitating and frustrating allergies can be, and we are committed to providing safe and effective solutions for our patients. Curex is an online allergy clinic that offers at-home concierge allergy testing and customized sublingual immunotherapy. With our help, we can gradually desensitize your immune system to allergens, providing long-term relief from allergy symptoms. Contact us today to book a consultation and learn more about our allergy immunotherapy drops.

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