Hay-Fever Injections


The Nottingham Road Clinic



Hay-Fever or Allergic Rhinitis is a common problem. It is caused by an allergic reaction in the nose and eyes to pollens. In most cases it can be controlled with a combination of nasal steroids and antihistamine medications, which can be obtained from the pharmacy, or via the GP.

In some cases, people can experience severe symptoms even though they are using all the available treatments correctly. In these cases, it is worth considering other options, including steroid injections. The other options are considered below:

  1. Immunotherapy

This involves a referral to an immunology specialist/clinic. The specialist can check to see what you are allergic to and, in some cases, immunotherapy treatment can be recommended. This involves a course of treatment over several weeks on consecutive years and requires desensitizing treatment. If successful this can lead to long-term relief of symptoms. This treatment is not available at The Nottingham Road Clinic. You will need to see your GP and be referred to a specialist allergy clinic if you want this type of treatment.

  1. Steroid Injections

If the immunotherapy approach does not appeal to you (or it is too late in the season to consider it) and you still have severe symptoms despite using nasal steroids and antihistamines then you may consider oral or injectable steroid treatment.

The advantage of the injected treatment is that the steroid is released slowly over a 4-6 week period and can give long-term control of symptoms often for the whole season, especially if used with your usual nasal sprays and antihistamines.

Tablet steroid treatment can also be effective but has to be taken every day. The advantage of tablet steroid treatment is that if you experience side effects (which are rare) then the tablets can be stopped, whereas you can’t do this with the injected steroid treatment. It should be added that side effects are rare in any case and many patients prefer a single injection at the beginning of the season to having to take tablets every day.

If you want to consider the injected treatment for Hay-Fever you will need to make an appointment and consult the doctor and nurse who will discuss all the options for treatment with you. You can then together decide whether the treatment benefits outweigh any risks in your case.

You will need to complete a questionnaire and bring it with you to the consultation. We also ask that you read the Patient Information Leaflet  for the injection so you can be informed about the treatment and are able to discuss any issues with the doctor before you have the treatment.

Please note that Kenalog injections are not licensed for the treatment of hay fever but can be prescribed and given if you and your doctor consider it the best treatment for you.

The injection is given into the top of the buttock and usually starts to work within 24-48 hours. We usually give 40mg injection and if needed can repeat the injection later in the season if symptoms return.

Very occasionally a dimple can be left in the skin where the injection was given.  Other side effects are rare but are detailed in the Patient Information Leaflet, which you should read.

Corticosteroids work by suppressing the immune system and so if you come into contact with anyone who has chicken pox, shingles or measles you should consult your doctor as soon as possible.

You should also tell the doctor if you have an infection as the treatment may have to be deferred.

Treatment with corticosteroid particularly if repeated over a long time can increase the risk of developing diabetes and osteoporosis (thin bones). You should discus this if you are concerned.

Corticosteroids can cause alterations in mood and sleep problems although these are not common.

Please note that you need to be over the age of 18 to have the hay fever injection.

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