As we’ve discussed in lots of previous blog posts, the symptoms of hay fever can be unbearable and can affect life in many ways. However, these symptoms can be managed by a variety of treatments – one of which is the Kenalog Hay Fever Injection (a steroid injection).

In the articles, Dr Rankin explains why many people opt for this injection: “when the steroids are injected instead of ingested, they are deposited directly into the muscle. There, they leak into the bloodstream in a low dose over the course of around three weeks”. This means that the patient does not have to take tables every day.

The articles also talk about potential side effects: “many of the more severe side effects of steroids come from the use of very high doses over a long period of time” and since the injection has a relatively low dose, the risk of adverse side effects is lowered. That being said, Dr Rankin stresses that it is important to know what the side effects are - they include swelling, itchy skin and abdominal pain.

Put the two above points together and you understand why the injection sometimes gets a bad rep. While it is much more convenient than taking tablets everyday, if you do experience side effects, you might be stuck with them for up to three weeks. Moreover, it is also noted that there are certain people that need be careful with any corticosteroid treatment – including those who are diabetic and those with a suppressed immune system.  

So why don’t the NHS offer the injection? As Dr Rankin suggests, “in my opinion, it’s easy to see why. In a system where you’re aiming to minimise the time patients spend with doctors, tablets are a safe, effective treatment”. However, in private clinics, where patients can talk about the treatment thoroughly, he suggests that they should be able to make their own choices.

In summary, Dr Rankin states that LDC’s goal is to help patients make an informed choice. We will never encourage a patient to choose one treatment over another. Rather, we will provide them with the correct information (and be transparent about the pros and cons), so that a patient can make “the right choice for their own health”.

To read the full articles, visit Net Doctor and Huffington Post. To discuss hay fever treatment (or any other medical issue) with one of our private doctors, simply book an appointment at any of our nine GP surgeries across London. As always, if you need to find a GP, LDC is here for you.