Allergy Immunotherapy (Sublingual/Oral)

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Allergy Immunotherapy (Sublingual/Oral) Overview
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Having allergies is a major bummer. Some people deal with seasonal allergies that only come around when the leaves begin to fall, or the weather stars heating up. Others have ongoing allergies due to animals, dust, pollen, or weeds. Regardless of what type of allergies you suffer from, it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor so you can start feeling better. 

One treatment option that is largely popular in Europe has recently made its way to the US is called Sublingual Immunotherapy. 

What is Sublingual Immunotherapy?

Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) is an innovative alternative to allergy shots, specifically for people suffering from various allergies. According to Johns Hopkins, this type of treatment has been an effective option for millions of people dealing with environmental allergies. 

Immunotherapy treats the cause of allergies by giving small doses of what you’re allergic to, with the goal to increase your immune system’s tolerance and reduce the allergic symptoms to specific allergens. Sublingual immunotherapy is an excellent option for people that don’t like needles, as it’s taken as an oral drop rather than via an injectable shot. 

Allergy tablets or drops are a form of SLIT and work just as well as the shot alternative by helping your body build resistance to the effects of specific allergens. The FDA approves SLIT drops in many countries. The US FDA has yet to approve these drops to treat allergies; however, their usage is off-label and FDA-approved to treat other things. Because the drops are FDA-approved, you can still talk to your doctor or allergist about using them to treat your allergies. 

What Does Sublingual Immunotherapy Treat? 

SLIT tablets are FDA-approved to treat allergies associated with ragweed, grass pollen, and dust mites. Unlike shots, tablets can only treat one type of allergen and don’t prevent the development of new allergies or asthma. 

SLIT drops can treat a wide variety of seasonal and environmental allergies, including: 

  • Animals

  • Dust mites

  • Grasses

  • Weeds

  • Pollens

  • Molds

Some of the specific allergens SLIT drops can treat are:

Dust mite Allergies

  • Dust mite (d. pter)

  • Dust mite (d. far)

Cat, Dog, and Other Animal Allergies

  • Cat dander

  • Cattle

  • Cockroach

  • Dog dander

  • Guinea pig

  • Horse dander

  • Mouse

  • Rabbit

Pollen Allergies

  • Alder

  • Bayberry

  • Birch

  • Box Elder (Maple)

  • Cottonwood

  • Elm

  • Hickory

  • Juniper

  • Maple

  • Mountain cedar

  • Red Cedar

  • Mulberry

  • Oak

  • Olive

  • Pecan

  • Poplar

  • Sweetgum

  • Sycamore

  • Walnut

  • White ash

Mold Allergies

  • Alternaria alt.

  • Aspergillus fum.

  • Cladosporium fum.

  • Penicillium

Grass Allergies

  • Bahiagrass

  • Bromegrass

  • Bermuda grass

  • Johnsongrass

  • Perennial ryegrass

  • Timothy grass

Weed Allergies

  • Carlessweed

  • Dock/Sorrel

  • Lambs Quarter

  • Lenscale

  • Plantain

  • Mugwort

  • Ragweed

  • Rough pigweed

  • Russian thistle

  • Sagebrush

What Causes Allergy Symptoms? 

Allergic reactions are a result of your immune system’s response to the presence of something it perceives as a threat. The most common allergens that trigger this reaction are pollen, mold, dust mites, and pet dander.

Seasonal allergens are, well, seasonal. They come and go depending on the source. Mountain cedar (or juniper) typically peaks in the winter months, whereas oak hits in early Spring. Grasses can be present throughout the Spring, Summer, and Fall.

Other allergens are present year-round. Mold, dust mites, and pet dander are among the worst. Unfortunately for animal lovers, people can be very allergic to the dander that lives on an animal’s skin and fur.  

How Allergy Immunotherapy Works?

Allergy immunotherapy works similarly to allergy shots but in a much less invasive way. Over the course of many months, you’ll administer the treatment under your tongue when you wake up in the morning. SLIT therapy is effective in treating environmental allergies, both indoor and outdoor. This treatment type is customized to each person’s specific allergies because no two people are allergic to the same things. 

SLIT treatment can take up to a year as it needs time to build up your immune system’s tolerance to specific allergens. However, many patients have seen improvements after being on allergy immunotherapy for only three months. It is recommended that you stay on immunotherapy for 3-5 years for the results to become more permanent. 

Is Allergy Immunotherapy Safe? 

Absolutely! In fact, it is proven clinically safe for both adults and children. Patients as young as six have been approved for SLIT treatment. The World Health Organization has even endorsed SLIT treatment as a viable alternative to injection immunotherapy. 

Side Effects of SLIT Treatment

The safety of SLIT has been very well documented; over the past ten years, there have been zero fatal reactions, and severe reactions are very rare. Mild side effects, such as an itchy mouth, may occur as your immune system regulates itself, but this typically resolves over time. 

Moderate side effects can include: 

  • Lip, mouth, and tongue irritation

  • Itchy, red, or swollen eyes

  • Nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, or diarrhea

  • Sneezing and nose congestion

  • Asthma symptoms

  • Hives or skin swelling

Generally speaking, most people are able to treat themselves at home if/when side effects occur. However, it is recommended that if any side effects worsen or become debilitating that you contact your PCP as soon as possible. 

Where Can You Get Allergy Treatment? 

Here at ReliefSeeker, we always want to keep our readers in the know of the latest telehealth trends. And if you’re suffering from allergies, you’ve come to the right place! 

As far as we know, only a couple of online providers offer allergy immunotherapy in the US. You can always talk to your doctor or allergist about sublingual immunotherapy, but who wants to make an appointment and go to an office? We know we don’t! 

Curex provides patients with an easy and affordable allergy shot alternative by offering them allergy immunotherapy in the form of drops that are taken each morning. The physicians at Curex work with you to determine your unique allergies and provide ongoing clinical treatment while you are taking the drops. We highly recommend Curex to treat your indoor and outdoor allergies!