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Can Getting Allergy Shots Cause Anxiety Or Flare It Up?

Marilyn Folk BScN medical reviewer
Written by: Jim Folk.
Medically reviewed by: Marilyn Folk, BScN.
Updated: May 11, 2019

There is only one cause of anxiety: behaving in an apprehensive manner. So no, allergy shots don’t cause anxiety or anxiety to flare up. Allergy shots can, however, cause anxiety-like sensations and symptoms as side effects, in extreme cases.

For example, while most people don’t experience side effects from allergy shots (maybe some redness or soreness at the injection site), some people might, in extreme cases, experience dizziness or lightheadedness, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing or wheezing, chest or throat tightness, rapid or irregular heart beat, or feeling faint. These are the exception and not the rule.

If you are experiencing an increase in these kinds of sensations and symptoms, you should discuss them with your doctor. Your doctor may want to make an adjustment to the dosage in order to lower the risk of adverse reactions.

If you are finding your anxiety higher than usual as a result of taking allergy shots, it may be because of your own concern about taking the shots and/or your concern about how the shots might affect you.

Worry - an example of apprehensive behavior - creates the state of being anxious. If you are worrying about how these shots might affect you, it’s most likely your worry that’s causing your increase in anxiety, which can cause your anxiety sensations and symptoms to increase, as well.

Learning to contain your worry can help lower your anxiety and its sensations and symptoms.

For more information about allergy shots and anxiety, you may want to talk with your doctor AND pharmacist.

If you are having difficulty containing your worry, you may want to work with one of our anxiety therapists. They have a number of strategies that can help you learn how to contain your worry. Because containing is an important tool for long-term anxiety disorder-free success, it’s a skill well worth learning.

The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist is the most effective way to address anxiety disorder and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed - the underlying factors that motivate apprehensive behavior - a struggle with anxiety disorder can return again and again. Identifying and successfully addressing anxiety's underlying factors is the best way to overcome problematic anxiety.

Additional Resources:

Return to our Anxiety Frequent Questions page.

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