Taking medication regularly to manage your allergy symptoms can feel like a never-ending cycle. When effective, immunotherapy can provide allergy sufferers with the opportunity to live an allergy-free life. One type of immunotherapy is the use of sublingual drops or pills, which can be a better alternative to allergy shots.
Sublingual immunotherapy can be less intimidating to children, making the process easier on parents. Additionally, some adults who continue to have a fear or aversion to needles can reconsider immunotherapy as a viable option for their allergies. Even if needles do not bother you, having multiple shots for several years can become tedious.
Easier Maintenance Than Shots
One of the major problems with allergy shots is they are inconvenient. You may need treatments for several years before immunotherapy is successful. Going away to college or moving can cause disruptions in your allergy shots, especially if your new location does not have many allergists or your primary care doctor is not willing to maintain your treatments. When immunotherapy is administered in a sublingual form, it is easier to maintain your treatment schedule.
Unlike allergy shots where you may need to go to your doctor multiple times per week for treatment, you take daily sublingual drops or pills at home. Since there is always the risk of having a severe allergic reaction when you have allergies, you must be under the supervision of a doctor for your first dose. For sublingual drops, you may need to have treatments in the office for the first few months until you reach the maintenance phase.
Sublingual immunotherapy drops are used off-label for the treatment of allergies and are not actually FDA approved. The lack of FDA approval may limit accessibility and insurance coverage. Fortunately, immunotherapy pills are an FDA-approved option. The pills are placed under the tongue. Once they are placed under your tongue, they dissolve and allow the medication to be absorbed by the oral mucosa and blood vessels under the tongue, much like the drops.
Although sublingual immunotherapy pills may be ideal for your lifestyle, there are not many available. If you have common allergies, such as grass and ragweed, you are more likely to benefit from the available options. Since there are any number of grasses, trees, and plants that can cause your allergies, you may be required to use traditional allergy shots to minimize or eliminate seasonal allergies.
If you are considering immunotherapy as a way to reduce the amount of antihistamines you take or eliminate allergies altogether, there are options with less impact on your life. Sublingual immunotherapy pills can give you the combination of effectiveness and convenience. Speak with an allergy doctor to learn more.