Sublingual Immunotherapy: the Future of Allergy Treatment

Immunotherapy is the “tried and true” method of choice for medical treatment of allergies. Whereas pills like antihistamines can treat the symptoms of allergy, only immunotherapy has been shown to change the underlying allergic disease. It goes straight to the heart of the problem!

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Immunotherapy starts with an allergy serum that contains traces of common allergens (pollens, pet dander, etc.) As the body is consistently exposed to these allergens, it can develop an immunity so it stops overreacting to them in ways that lead to bothersome allergy symptoms.

Immunotherapy can be given through allergy shots or through under-the-tongue (sublingual immunotherapy) drops. With shots, the allergy serum is injected into the skin and then absorbed into the blood stream. With sublingual immunotherapy drops, the serum is absorbed into the bloodstream through special cells in the mouth (known as mast cells).

Drops are widely used in Central Europe. In fact, around half of the people who receive allergy treatment there receive it through sublingual immunotherapy. Drops are quickly gaining traction in the U.S., too, not only because they are safer than shots but also because they are far easier to comply with. Because shots carry a greater risk of anaphylactic reaction than drops do, you have to take them at the doctor’s office. Most people take them twice a week. If you do the math, that’s a lot of time in the car.

Drops, however, can be taken at home or on the go. You simply take the prescribed squeeze bottle, dispense a few drops under your tongue, and continue with your standard activities.

Another big perk of sublingual immunotherapy is that it can be used for food allergies. (Shots can’t!)

Contact AllergyEasy to learn more about sublingual immunotherapy for food and pollen allergies.