Allergy Relief Under Your Tongue
In the US, subcutaneous injections are the only form of immunotherapy that most doctors and patients know. This is unfortunate because “allergy shots” are inconvenient, costly and sometimes dangerous. With shots as the only option, a very small percentage of Americans, who might benefit from immunotherapy, get the relief they need.
Fortunately, shots are not the only option.
What is Sublingual Immunotherapy, “SLIT”?
It is a form of immunotherapy that involves putting drops of allergen extracts under the tongue. Many people refer to this process as “allergy drops,” and it is an alternative treatment for allergy injections.
There is ample data proving safety of SLIT in adults and children over age 5.
Sublingual immunotherapy is not an FDA approved treatment. It is considered “off label” treatment.
Insurance will usually pay for office visits, allergy testing, and allergy shots. Insurance does NOT pay for SLIT.
What are the advantages of Allergy Drops?
SLIT is a method of building up your tolerance to allergy causing substances by placing allergy drops under your tongue. It is done on a daily basis in the comfort of your home, or wherever you need to be, making it much easier to stay with your treatment.
Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) is an alternative treatment for allergy injections. There is ample data proving safety of SLIT in adults and children.
Most patients will experience fewer symptoms and begin to build immunity within a few weeks of starting their allergy drop treatment. For some patients, it may take up to several months to feel results from their treatment. Your dosing schedule will be customized by our Gainesville, FL allergy clinic to your particular allergies.
SLIT is not an FDA approved treatment. It is considered “off label” treatment. The antigens used in allergy drops are the same FDA-approved antigens used in allergy shots. The only difference is the route of administration.
World Health Organization (WHO) has endorsed SLIT as a viable alternative to allergy shots. The Cochrane Collaboration, the world’s most trusted international organization dedicated to reviewing healthcare treatments, recently concluded SLIT significantly reduced allergy symptoms and medication use.
Insurance will usually cover the cost of the office visits and allergy testing, but will not cover the cost of the sublingual drops. Most people find the cost to be comparable to allergy shots. SLIT is a set fee and you will need to come in every three months for a new supply. With shots you have your insurance deductible, co-payments, gas expense getting to our office on a weekly basis and missing work/school. SLIT is convenient for people who travel, live out of town, are not able to get to our office on a weekly basis or just have a needle phobia. No injections means no pain! SLIT can be safely administered at home. You ultimately make the decision for which way your treatment is to be handled.
SLIT can be effective in children to reduce symptoms of allergic rhinitis and asthma, prevent development of new allergies, and reduce the likelihood of developing future asthma.