Tags: Health Topics | sublingual | subcutaneous | immunotherapy

Sublingual Immunotherapy vs. Subcutaneous Immunotherapy: What Are Your Options?

By    |   Wednesday, 08 Jun 2016 06:22 PM

Sublingual immunotherapy is a treatment alternative to subcutaneous immunotherapy or allergy shots. Sublingual immunotherapy doesn’t involve receiving weekly shots but instead involves taking drops or tablets under the tongue.

The New York Times reports that sublingual immunotherapy
is the newest alternative to allergy shots which have been used for severe allergies from inhaled substances for 100 years.

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As many as 60 million American adults and children suffer from allergies. When common treatments such as nasal steroids and antihistamines fail, immunotherapy may be prescribed. Immunotherapy is a method that attempts to decrease sensitivity to allergens by stimulating the immune system with small doses of the trigger allergen to help the body build tolerance over time. Sublingual immunotherapy bypasses the need for weekly doctor visits and injections and allows patients the freedom to take tablets or drops at home.

Sublingual immunotherapy, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, has recently been approved by the FDA in the United States. Drops have not yet been approved in the U.S. Three allergy tablets have been approved and include two therapies for different types of grass pollen and one for short ragweed. A drawback of sublingual immunotherapy in the U.S. is the limited availability of all allergens.

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Long-term improvement has been shown with both sublingual and subcutaneous immunotherapy. However, treatment success is based on the contents of each therapy. For example, if the shots or tablets contain the ragweed allergen then only ragweed symptoms will be controlled. Sublingual immunotherapy has had safer outcomes than allergy shots which warrant at-home use versus in-office supervision. The FDA has warned that tablets may still cause severe allergic reactions and recommends keeping an epinephrine autoinjector nearby.

Johns Hopkins Medicine explains that sublingual immunotherapy is more convenient because tablets can be taken at home, weekly doctor visits are stopped or significantly decreased, and painful shots can be avoided.

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Sublingual immunotherapy is a treatment alternative to subcutaneous immunotherapy or allergy shots. Sublingual immunotherapy doesn't involve receiving weekly shots but instead involves taking drops or tablets under the tongue.
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2016-22-08
Wednesday, 08 Jun 2016 06:22 PM
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