Since they can be administered at home, allergy drops, also known as SLIT, avoid taking time from work or school for weekly office visits to your Texas allergist required by shots. This is convenient for patients who do not have a “normal” schedule and cannot get to the doctor’s office for regular allergy shot visits. Also some may like the pain free administration.
Allergy drops are comparable in cost to the co-pay for shots and medications for most patients, but stops after five years, while the cost of others could be indefinite. Each patient is evaluated on their individual circumstances, their history, reaction and insurance coverage.
Allergy shots are available to patients from age two and older. Allergy drops are easier for our Texas patients and have less adverse reactions than allergy shots. Many patients also miss fewer doses, which helps their treatment to not regress. SLIT also offers a better safety profile. The occurrence of anaphylaxis incident is only three times per million. Texan allergy has had no reports of reactions of a severe nature while using our allergy drop protocol. SLIT is all-natural – unlike medications – and is made from simple extracts of molds, pet dander, pollens and dust.
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 the use of medication for allergies and asthma with no severe reactions or anaphylaxis. Allergy drops are endorsed by the WHO (World Health Organization) and the Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma (ARIA) guideline. SLIT stops allergic reactions instead of just hiding the symptoms, which is all some medications do. This treatment is effective at treating allergies because it is used daily and its onset of action can be faster (within four weeks). Allergy drops have fewer adverse reactions than shots.
The thought behind all immunotherapy treatments, which includes allergy drops and allergy shots, is to expose the body to small amount of substances that cause allergies. Over a period of several months those concentrations will expand and the symptoms will dissipate.
There are potential side effects and adverse reactions associated with allergy drops. They are almost always very mild and do not necessarily require treatment at all.
At least 135,000 patients over the past 40 years with our protocol have had no reports of severe reactions.
Most often, patients report of itching or tingling in the mouth and mild swelling under the tongue. These reactions occur during the first few days of treatment in up to 40% of all patients. We recommend treating with an antihistamine and keeping the same dose of drops until the reaction stops occurring.
Other adverse reactions are uncommon but may include nausea, stomach pain, and wheezing in patients who have asthma. Severe allergic reactions, such as anaphylaxis, are extremely rare and much less common than with allergy shots. For this reason, allergy drops can safely be given at home.
Patients suffering from asthma or anyone taking beta blockers can also be treated with allergy drops safely. As always, asthmatics should take their medications to keep their asthma under control, but the chance of significant exacerbation is much less when using allergy drops than when using allergy shots.
Patients can switch from taking drops to shots, or from taking shots to drops. Before switching, we will usually want to repeat your allergy testing. If you are interested in allergy drops, or want more information, give us a call or send us an email to make an appointment with our Texas allergist or ask any questions.