Under The Tongue Drops Take The Ouch Out Of Treating Allergies

allergies-immunotherapy

It’s an understatement to say that allergies are awful. Runny nose, sore, itchy eyes, skin irritation, shortness of breath…an allergy attack can make you feel like you’re dying. Unfortunately, up until now, the treatments for this ailment haven’t been much more pleasant. To handle your allergies, you basically have two choices: treat the symptoms with pills that almost always knock you out, or suffer through a series of highly unpleasant injections. Now, however, a new kind of treatment is on the horizon that can take the sting out of immunotherapy.

The Problem with Injections

Under the Tongue Drops Take the Ouch Out of Immotherapy-The Problem with Injections (Copy)

Allergy shots are very effective in treating allergies, from itchiness to asthma, but carry some issues that make them perhaps non-ideal.

Injections are painful and unpleasant, but carry other problems besides just being painful. They are highly inconvenient, since they require regular visits to a medical facility. They cannot be done by the patient at home because there is a risk of allergic reactions to the treatment itself and though this risk is low, its presence requires that a doctor administer the injections.

“Under the Tongue” Drops

Under the Tongue Drops Take the Ouch Out of Immotherapy-“Under the Tongue” Drops (Copy)

SubLingual ImmunoTherapy, also known as SLIT, is a form of allergen treatment where drops are placed under the patient’s tongue, instead of being injected. This newer form of immunotherapy has become attractive as an alternative to the traditional injections.

Over the past decade SLIT grass tablets have been the subject of a great deal of research that shows they are a very effective and long-lasting treatment for allergies to grass.

In addition, SLIT has been shown to be safe for home use, which would not only make it attractive based on the lack of pain, but far more convenient as well.

FDA Approval

Under the Tongue Drops Take the Ouch Out of Immotherapy-FDA Approval (Copy)

Up until now, there has not yet been a version of SLIT that has been approved by the FDA for use in the United States, requiring allergy drops to be provided off-label. However, in December 2013, the FDA finally voted to approve two types of grass tablets based on the emerging research involving the treatment.

While final approval is still pending, it is highly likely that we will finally see approved versions of SLIT for use in the United States. These tablets will be an excellent alternative for those with an aversion to needles or those who have difficulty scheduling regular visits to their allergist.

Limited Options

While this is an exciting development, it is important to remember that only grass allergen treatments have been approved so far, so this new approval won’t benefit people who have other types of allergies. Still, it is a first step in this exciting treatment, and there are hopes that once these tablets hit the market, others can soon follow.

There is as yet little data on treatments for substances like mold, pet dander, dust mites, or other indoor allergies. The few studies that have been done on ragweed and dust mites have not been encouraging, with the results indicating little if any relief through SLIT.

New breakthroughs in allergy treatment are always exciting, and many patients will be pleased to note that relief from injections may be on the horizon.

Sources: atlantaent.com