Sublingual Immunotherapy – Allergy Drop Treatment
Allergy & Asthma Physicians of Rhode Island
Tired of suffering from allergies and their symptoms? Looking for a course of treatment that could reduce overall severity of symptoms and improve your quality of life? Sublingual Immunotherapy, or allergy drops, may be right for you.
The idea behind allergy drop treatment is to build up your tolerance to your allergy triggers. We do this by repeatedly introducing the allergen as a drop under the tongue. The ultimate goal is to help reduce your asthma and allergy symptoms.
What are the advantages of allergy drops?
- Convenience: Allergy drops are an at-home treatment.
- Less need for medications: By building up a “tolerance” to your allergy triggers, you can reduce the need for allergy medications to control your symptoms.
- Reduced costs: Overall, allergy drops cost less than allergy shots and often require fewer office visits.
- Reduced symptoms: The goal of treatment is to get control of your allergies instead of them controlling you. Many patients begin to improvements in a few weeks or months.
- Fewer side effects: Research shows that allergy drops are a safe, effective form of immunotherapy with fewer side effects than allergy shots.
What is in an allergy drop?
Like allergy shots, allergy drops include allergens as part of treatment, These can include pollen, mold, dust mites, and animal dander. Unlike allergy shots, food may also be a part of your separate allergy drop treatment.
Who benefits most from allergy drops?
- Infants and children
- Highly allergic patients
- Patients with food and mold allergies
- Patients with multiple allergies
- Patients who cannot take allergy shots
- Patients with sinusitis
How long does allergy drop treatment last?
Most patients take allergy drops 3 times a day, each day for 3 to 5 years. The duration of your treatment may vary according to the severity of allergies, seasonality, and how compliant you are with treatment.
However, many patients begin to see symptoms improve within a few weeks to months!
Are allergy drops safe?
Allergy drops have been used around the world for more than 60 years. Numerous studies validate both their safety and effectiveness. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) has endorsed allergy drop treatment as a viable alternative to injection therapy. As in injection immunotherapy (allergy shots), a small percentage of patients may not respond well or at all to allergy drop treatment, or may experience worse symptoms or have a reaction. This, however, is rare.
How long can I expect the effects of allergy drops to last?
Immunotherapy, whether allergy shots or allergy drops, can modify the course of allergic disease by treating the root cause, not just the symptoms. Once a tolerance is built, it can be permanent for many patients. But even the best treatments will not work if you do not follow the treatment plan properly. As with allergy shot treatment, it is important to follow your allergy drop treatment until your doctor has determined that treatment can be discontinued, for the best chance of long-term benefit.