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Shaz Siddiqi, MD
New Allergy Treatments Tablets For Grass and Ragweed Pollen
Allergy & Asthma Care Centers
. http://www.myallergycare.com/

New Allergy Treatments Tablets For Grass and Ragweed Pollen

What Is Sublingual Immunotherapy SLIT?

Sublingual immunotherapy, now FDA approved, is an alternative way to treat allergies without injections. An allergist gives the patient a small doses of either ragweed or grass pollen extract under the tongue to boost tolerance of the immune system and reduce symptoms. This mechanism is very similar to the way subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT) or allergy shots work for pollen allergy sufferers.

How Is Treatment Administered?

An allergist must first useallergy testingto confirm the patient's sensitivities. Once this is determined, the appropriate allergen is taken in the form of a soft dissolvable tablet which the patient is directed to keep under the tongue for one to two minutes. The patient usually starts the medication three months prior to either grass or ragweed season. The tablet is taken conveniently once a day during the respective allergy season.

Is Sublingual Immunotherapy Effective and Safe?

Most clinical trials and surveys published over at least 20 years show that SLIT is very safe and effective for the treatment of allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, caused by allergies todust mites, grass, ragweed, cat dander, and tree pollens. At this point only grass pollen and ragweed pollen tablets are available in the U.S. There have been mild to moderate systemic allergic reactions reported, however these are very uncommon. Patients are required to take the first dose in the allergist's office and carry auto-injectable epinephrine as a precaution.

Side effects among both children and adults are usually local and mild, most often occur early in treatment, and include itching in the mouth or stomach problems. Grass pollen tablets for SLIT can be safe for children as young as age five years. Again, since some allergic reactions can occur in places other than just the mouth, this treatment is best prescribed by a board certified allergist.

Follow-Up For Sublingual Immunotherapy?

Since it is very safe and usually well tolerated, SLIT is continued on a daily basis at home and without direct medical supervision. Patients should therefore receive clear guidance from their allergist on managing adverse reactions, treatment interruptions and should also know when to consult the prescribing allergist.

Adapted from ACAAI

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