Since you can administer them at home, allergy drops, or Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT), avoid time off work/school for regular weekly office visits to your Texas allergist that are required by shots. This is convenient for people who travel are unable to make regular trips to the allergist's office for allergy shots. Also some may like the pain free administration.
The cost of allergy drops is comparable to a co-pay for average shots and medications, but ends after five years, while the cost of others could be indefinite. Each patient is on a case to case basis, their history, reaction and insurance coverage.
Allergy shots can be administered in patients as young as two years old and older. Our Texas patients have an easier time with allergy drops, and usually have less adverse reactions than allergy shots. Allergy drops are also easier for most patients to remember to take, allowing them to not have to go back in their treatment process. A superior safety profile also accompanies Sublingual Immunotherapy. Anaphylaxis incidents are much less likely to happen, occurring only three times per million. We have had no reports of severe reactions while using our allergy drop protocol. SLIT is all-natural – unlike medications – and is made from simple extracts of pollens, dusts, molds, and pet dander.
In the most recent meta-analysis, conducted by the well-known Cochrane Review (2009), more than 2300 patients on sublingual immunotherapy had a significant reduction in symptom scores and medication use for both asthma and allergies with no harsh reactions or anaphylaxis. Allergy drops are endorsed by the World Health Organization and the Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma (ARIA) guideline. Sublingual Immunotherapy eliminates allergic reactions, as opposed to masking symptoms like some medications do. This method is effective for treating allergies because it is used daily and its onset of action can be faster (within four weeks). Allergy drops produce fewer unfavorable reactions than shots.
The idea behind any kind of immunotherapy, including allergy drops and allergy shots, is to expose the body to a manageable portion of allergy-causing substances. Over a several month period, there will be an increase in those concentrations and there will be a decrease in symptoms.
Some potential adverse reactions and side effects are associated with allergy drops. They are almost always very mild and do not necessarily require treatment at all.
More than 135,000 patients through the last 40 years using our protocol have had no severe reactions.
Most reported reactions complain of tingling or itching in the mouth or mild swelling under the tongue. These reactions occur during the first few days of treatment in up to 40% of all patients. Our recommendation is treating with an antihistamine and keeping on the same dose of drops every day until the reaction no longer occurs.
Though uncommon, some other adverse reactions may include stomach ache, nausea and wheezing in patients who suffer from asthma. Anaphylaxis, and other severe allergic reactions, are extremely rare and much less common than in patients taking allergy shots. Because of this, allergy drops are safe to administer at home.
Patients with asthma or patients requiring the use of beta blockers can also safely use allergy drops. As always, asthmatics should take their medications to keep their asthma under control, but the chance of significant asthma exacerbation is much less when using allergy drops than when using allergy shots.
Patients that currently take shots are able to switch to drops (and vice versa). We typically will repeat your allergy testing prior to switching treatments. If you are interested in allergy drops, or would like more information, call us or email us to make an appointment with our Texas allergist or ask any questions about current pricing or other information.