Immunotherapy is a treatment method that involves either oral or injectable medications designed to help the body build specific antibodies to reduce the reaction to allergens. Once the doctor has determined what a person is allergic to, they can develop a serum or oral medication that will help the patient's body produce the necessary antibodies to prevent an allergic reaction. This type of treatment is also known as desensitization. The treatment involves introducing steadily increasing dosages of the allergen to the body in an attempt to minimize the body's reaction.
Immunotherapy often produces very few side effects. Those that do appear include runny nose, watery eyes, itching eyes, sneezing, coughing and reactions near the injection site if allergy shots are used. Most reactions to the medication are similar to the same symptoms the person is trying to avoid, but only last a few hours after receiving the treatment. Immunotherapy treatments involve a weekly or bi-weekly treatment plan in which the dosages of allergens are steadily increased.