Dr. Kevin Lunde ENT of Plano Texas
Alliance Hearing Center of Plano Texas

Allergy Drops

Instead of using shots, sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) uses allergy drops placed under the tongue to stimulate the immune system and lessen the allergy response. Like shots, allergy drops contain the substances a person reacts to. Over time, by stimulating the dendritic cells lining the oral cavity, allergy drops can “turn off” the immune reaction, reduce symptoms and decrease the need for allergy medications.

SLIT is a common treatment method in southern Europe and other countries. Allergy drops are endorsed by the World Health Organization as a viable alternative to shot, or injection, immunotherapy. Medical studies from these countries have shown drops to be effective and safe for treating environmental allergies in both adults and children. Evidence also suggests that SLIT can be as effective as shots in treating the underlying causes of allergies.

Because the majority of these studies are from overseas, many National and local insurance companies are not presently considering SLIT a covered treatment. Medical organizations, such as the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy, are endorsing studies to change this attitude. For many patients, paying out-of-pocket for allergy drops may still be less expensive than allergy shots covered by their insurance company. Weekly shot co-pays and vaccine expenses, plus time away from work, are avoided with allergy drops.

The build up phase of SLIT involves placing from 1 to 3 drops of vaccine under the tongue and holding it there for 2 minutes, then swallowing it. The allergy drops are in a glycerin solution giving them a pleasant taste. Because of the high safety profile of SLIT, the build up phase can be done at home, instead of having to be performed in our office as with shot therapy. The maintenance dose is 3 drops every day. As with shot immunotherapy, it may take from 6 months to one year of SLIT to see an improvement in allergy control.

SLIT is a good alternative to allergy shots for patients who are unable to tolerate shots and whose schedule will not permit them to come to our office regularly for shots. SLIT is also a perfect treatment for young children and others who are adverse to needles and shots.

Nasal & Sinus

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