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Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT) - Allergy Drops
Sublingual Immunotherapy vs Allergy Immunotherapy - What’s the Difference?
Read more below and find out if sublingual immunotherapy is right for you.
What is Allergy Immunotherapy and How does It Work?
Millions of people suffer from allergies and many side effects can result in itchy eyes, runny nose, coughing, sinusitis and asthma. An allergy is a response of your immune system to allergies such as pollens, dust mites, mold and animal dander.
A Board Certified Allergist uses skin tests to determine specifically which allergens affect you the most. Exposure of the allergens to which you are allergic in controlled increasing amounts and frequency (through allergy immunotherapy) will stimulate a change in the allergic response of your immune system, inducing a natural immunity or tolerance. Over time you will become less sensitive to these allergens. This means that when you are exposed to the specific allergen, you will react less or not at all.
What is Sublingual Immunotherapy (Allergy Drops)?
Sublingual is the medical term for “under the tongue.” Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) (or allergy drops) is one of the ways of introducing allergens so that your immune system can adjust to these allergens. Allergy drops are placed under the tongue daily. The patient will follow a schedule provided by one of our Board Certified Allergist. Some patients who need treatment but decide against traditional allergy immunotherapy (allergy shots) may find the allergy drops more suitable to their needs.
Is Sublingual Immunotherapy Right for Me?
Recent studies indicate that allergy drops are an effective method for patients who have allergic rhinitis or asthma treating some specific allergies such as pollens, house dust mites and animal dander. Over a period of time, the treatment can help to
desensitize your body’s immune system. This will enable you to have less severe reactions, or possibly no reactions at all. Patients that are on allergy drops will come to our office for a periodic check-up to evaluate their progress. To maintain the effectiveness, most patients may expect to remain on allergy drops for up to 5 years.
Is Sublingual Immunotherapy Safe?
Yes. Sublingual immunotherapy has been the most common form of immunotherapy in Western European countries and has been recently gaining popularity in the United States. In fact, long-term studies in these European countries demonstrate that in some circumstances sublingual
Who Can Take Sublingual Immunotherapy?
Children and adults.
If I Want to Get Started on Sublingual Immunotherapy, What Do I Need to Do?
You will first need to have an evaluation by one of our Board Certified Allergists and do allergy testing. Patients should stop taking antihistamines, such as Allegra, Claritin, Clarinex, Zyrtec, Alavert, Loratadine, Phenergan, and Benadryl for at least two days prior to allergy testing.
immunotherapy can provide the same results as traditional immunotherapy using allergy shots. Sublingual immunotherapy uses the same allergen extracts as traditional immunotherapy. Even the World Health Organization supports this alternative.
Sublingual immunotherapy also has been shown to have a comparable limited risk of reactions when compared to shots. The only side effects experienced by some patients are a slight “itching” or “tingling” sensation in the mouth immediately after administration.
Has the FDA Approved Sublingual Immunotherapy?
The FDA is now starting to review sublingual immunotherapy protocols, but has not yet approved this form of immunotherapy. However, it can be provided as an “off-label medication” by our Board Certified Allergists. “Off-label” therapy is very common in medicine.
At your first visit, you will be given a copy of your allergy testing, and a treatment plan will be discussed, including medications, conventional allergy injections and sublingual immunotherapy.
If you are presently being treated at another office for allergies with allergy injections, and want to start on sublingual immunotherapy, all you have to do is transfer your medical records, including allergy skin testing results. At your first visit you will discuss the possibility of starting on sublingual immunotherapy with one of our Board Certified Allergists.
How Much will It Cost to Do Sublingual Immunotherapy?
Currently, allergy drops are not covered by insurance companies. Patients are expected to pay for the allergy drops at the time of the visit using either cash, check, or credit/debit card. Generally, it costs $60 per month.
What are the Benefits of Doing Sublingual Immunotherapy?
1. No more shots.
2. Convenience - Take your allergy drops with you
wherever you go.
3. If you live far from our office, you save time by not
having to come that often.
4. Effective and safe method for treating specific
allergies to pollens, house dust mites and animal
Dr. Ringwald and Dr. Czarnecki have determined that it is important to offer patients a safe, reliable, and effective alternative for those who are not good candidates for traditional allergy shots.
If you would like to start on sublingual immunotherapy (allergy drops), give us a call today to set-up an appointment at 248 - 651 - 0606.
The information provided in this Web site is not intended to replace consultation with your physician.
Entire contents © 2016 Ulrich O. Ringwald, M.D. Reproduction in whole or in part without
express written permission is prohibited.