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Got first allergy shot, told later it was only saline???

Posted by saurusl

I started allergy shots, and the doctor without me knowing it, gave me pure saline for the first allergy shot!

Then when I came in for the next shot, I was asked whether I'd had a reaction to the first shot.  I said I had felt kind of hazy afterwards (but there were other things going on that also make me feel hazy).  

Then the doctor told me that the first allergy shot is plain saline, they want to see if the patient will have a reaction anyway.  He said something about not wanting to treat people if it's a psychological issue (although I did have positive allergy tests).  

Is this considered ethical, and have you heard of an allergist doing this?

It bothers me, because I'm in a crisis situation because of allergies, I desperately need to get desensitization - NOT shots of saline!  And I took the time to ride my bike there and back - for a shot of saline.  AND I'm sure he will bill me for the shot of saline.  

People do get a "nocebo" effect when they believe they've been given something they expect an subjective adverse reaction to, like having a headache or feeling tired.  

This does NOT mean that subjective adverse reactions (like a headache or feeling tired) are "all in the head".  It does suggest that part of the subjective adverse reaction comes from one's expectation.

So him doing this seems pointless.  He should expect that if someone gets an allergy shot, and allergy shots made them feel bad in the past, they're likely to feel (somewhat) bad even if it's just saline. 

And, I'm the one who has to decide if an allergy shot makes me feel too sick to raise the dose.  It's not a dangerous reaction.  Even if feeling bad after the shot is partly "in my head", I have to go by that feeling.  

 Also, he deceived me by doing this.  How am I supposed to believe what this doctor says, since he deceived me?  

I plan to talk to the doctor about it - but I wanted to find out what people think about a doctor doing this.  

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