Allergy Shots

This book contains essential information for LDA and EPD

With conventional allergy shots, patients are injected with gradually increasing amount of extracts of the pollens, dust, molds, etc. to which they are allergic. Individuals make IgG antibodies to the extracts, which compete with the IgE antibodies involved in allergic reactions, thus offering some protection from reactions.

I took allergy shots from age 10 to 39, and although they did help some, they did not eliminate my inhalant allergy problem. They also are not effective for and thus are not used for food allergies. Since there is a risk of anaphylaxis after a conventional allergy shot is given, shots must be given in a doctor's office where the patient is observed for a half hour after the shot.

In the 1960s, a new type of allergy shots was developed in England. It then was used in the United States in the 1990s through 2001 and was called EPD for Enzyme Potentiated Desensitization. This treatment employs very low doses of allergens and many more allergens than are in conventional shots. The American version of EPD which is currently used in the United States is called LDA (Low Dose Allergens). These shots are effective for food allergies and chemical sensitivities as well as inhalant allergies. They cover essentially all foods and everything an individual might breathe. They are very effective for inhalant allergies, which may take just a few shots to eliminate. My hayfever went from "I hate spring" to nonexistent at twenty days after my first EPD shot. The response for food allergies and chemical sensitivities can take up to two years, but it is worth the extra time and work.

With EPD and LDA, all of the patient's problems are treated at once, so an improvement in general health should occur. Because LDA exploits a natural phenomenon, it can be diverted by high-dose exposures to allergens at the time of the injection and for three weeks afterwards while the lymphocytes induced by the treatment are maturing. Therefore, patients must exercise strict control of their environmental and dietary exposures to allergens as well as avoiding many medications at the time of their treatments and for up to three weeks after a treatment. [1] For this reason, LDA has the reputation of being an ordeal to take. Indeed, it does involve much participation on the part of the patient. If you do not have chemical sensitivities or major inhalant allergies and dietary manipulation is sufficient to solve your problems with food allergies, you may want to work with your diet rather than taking LDA.

LDA injections are usually taken at two month intervals initially. As the patient progresses, the interval between injections is gradually extended until they are taken at intervals of a year or more. In my opinion, LDA comes closer to a cure for allergies than any other treatment, and for some people it really is a cure. My son Joel is one of those people. He started EPD at age 11. Since pre-adolescent children respond more quickly than adults, his eczema from food allergies cleared up ten days after his first shot. When he was allowed to try his problem foods, he could eat everything without the eczema returning. It returned about five weeks later when it was almost time for another shot. In a few years he reached the point that one shot a year was enough. He did things he would not have done as easily with food allergies like attend college and graduate school far from home and travel for his job. He is now in his 30s and takes one shot a year. However, to be realistic, patients with very severe food allergies and dysbiosis may not have the experience he did. I still don't eat "normally," but I have plenty to eat and a very nutritious diet that may have contributed to my breast cancer not spreading. I started EPD because I literally did not have any safe foods to eat. Considering how far I have come, it has been worthwhile to take this treatment.

So why have you never heard of LDA? Part of the reason is that those who give it keep a low profile. EPD was used in the United States in the 1990s as part of an Investigational Review Board study. When the IRB expired, the use of EPD continued for a year or two. Then the political climate changed and in 2001 the FDA shut down EPD. It was on the FDA's import alert list so it could not be brought into the country under the "compassionate use" designation for use by an individual, a provision which is allowed for many other treatments, drugs and products.

Aside – Here is an interesting tidbit of information about import alert. The herb stevia was on the import alert list in the 1990s. Now it is sold as a supplement rather than a sweetener. It has a record of hundreds of years of safe use as a natural non-caloric sweetener in South America and Japan. Could putting a safe herb on import alert have been due to fear of competition with aspartame?

After the FDA shut-down of EPD, LDA was developed. As an American-made product, using the same type of allergen extracts as in conventional allergy shots, it is legal, but the FDA has harassed the makers of LDA to the point that the first one quit. Considering the constraints of the protocol that must be followed at shot time, I can't realistically see that it can be that much of a threat to Big Pharma, but….

For more information about LDA visit
, , or see The Low Dose Immunotherapy Handbook.


[1] Shrader, W.A., MD. Low Dose Allergen Immunotherapy Patient Instruction Booklet. 8th Edition, May, 2014, 18, 20, 38.