Sublingual Immunotherapy Research

In the 1920s, the first successful trials of sublingual immunotherapy were completed. (Sublingual immunotherapy or SLIT desensitizes the body to allergens in the environment through liquid drops or tablets that are placed under the tongue and absorb into the bloodstream through special cells in the mouth).

sublingual immunotherapy research

In the 1980s, more successful trials were conducted as researchers sought more earnestly for a viable alternative to allergy shots (subcutaneous immunotherapy). Continuing sublingual immunotherapy research showed that SLIT was effective and easy to comply with. It also showed that it was safer than allergy shots—so safe, in fact, that it could be taken at home rather than under physician supervision. And finally, the trials showed SLIT to be a particularly good option for patients who were not good candidates for shot therapy—including young children.

By the late-1980s, sublingual immunotherapy research had demonstrated a strong enough safety and efficacy profile that SLIT began to be used worldwide. Today, there are more than 60 controlled clinical trials establishing the safety and effectiveness of SLIT. It has also been recognized by many international agencies and guidelines:

1998, World Allergy Organization (part of the World Health Organization or WHO), called SLIT a “viable alternative to parenteral injection therapy.”

ARIA guidelines (Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma)

  • 2001, affirmed the use of SLIT for children
  • 2008, affirmed that SLIT was safer than SCIT (subcutaneous immunotherapy or allergy shots)
  • 2010, confirmed the efficacy of SLIT for adults and children in reducing the effects of allergy rhinitis

Click here to read more about sublingual immunotherapy research.

About The Author

Stuart H. Agren, M.D.

Stuart H. Agren, M.D. completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Utah and went on to earn his Doctor of Medicine from Tulane University School of Medicine in 1974. He completed additional training at L.D.S. Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah and then established his private medical practice starting in 1975. Dr. Agren completed a mini-residency in Industrial Medicine at the Robert Johnson School of Medicine at Rutgers University and also completed training to become a certified Medical Review Officer.

Dr. Agren was the Medical Director at TRW and McDonnell Douglas in Mesa, Arizona and at Stauffer Chemical and Kennecott Copper in Salt Lake City, Utah. He also served as an adjunct faculty member at Arizona State University.

In his private medical practice, Dr. Agren specialized in family practice and allergy. In his work as a private practice allergist, he was one of the first doctors in the country to prescribe sublingual immunotherapy to his patients as an alternative to subcutaneous immunotherapy (allergy shots). He has also been a trailblazer in the field of food allergy treatment and research, developing a program to treat multiple food allergies simultaneously using sublingual immunotherapy. Dr. Agren has been featured on local CBS, NBC, and ABC news affiliates and won the peer-nominated “Top Doc” award from Phoenix Magazine.

After 20 years in private practice, Dr. Agren became the Founder and President of AllergyEasy, which helps primary care physicians around the country offer allergy testing and sublingual immunotherapy treatment to their patients. Over 200 physicians in over 32 states use the AllergyEasy program to help their patients overcome environmental and food allergies and asthma.