Many allergy sufferers are wondering if there will be an alternative to allergy shots in the future. Once medications are just not enough to treat allergies effectively, an allergist may recommend immunotherapy or allergy shots. These weekly injections are highly effective, but the treatment is time intensive (weekly visit to the allergist’s office) and some people don’t like injections.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was another way? Something that could be taken at home, no pain, no injection involved, but highly effective, no side effects and lasting in its effect?
Absolutely. And it seems to be in the works. Sublingual immunotherapy consists of drops containing allergen extract placed under the tongue daily. Over time, the immune system becomes tolerant to the allergen due to repeat exposure.
It has not been FDA approved here in the USA yet – as researchers are still trying to figure out the appropriate dosing, composition and length of treatment. In Europe it has been used for many years successfully – even though it’s not quite as strong as allergy shots. Since these drops are not FDA approved yet, doctors can only prescribe it off-label, treatment regimens and outcomes vary considerably and patients end up paying for it themselves which can be a huge expense.
For more information, read the article: Allergy Drops Under the Tongue May Be Fine Alternative to Shots (NPR)