Allergy Drops

By Heather Legg

I hear more and more about allergy drops as people seem to be wanting something more for their allergies than antihistamines, eye drops and allergy shots. Allergy drops are also called sublingual immunotherapy or SLIT and consist of putting drops of the allergen extract underneath the tongues on a daily or multi week basis.

Though it sounds scary to purposely put the allergen into the body, it has been proven to work and has been used for years in European countries. It is available here in the United States now, but is not FDA approved. Because of the ease of administering the drops, it can be done out of the office and self administered, unlike allergy shots, which saves appointment time and office visit costs. Also, it’s pain free as opposed to shots.

It can be taken in two different ways, either with a sublingual tablet that dissolves under the tongue or drops, then it is either swallowed or spit out. Because the amount is so minuscule and administered this way, it doesn’t cause an allergic reaction to the body.

In one of the articles I read, Sublingual Immunotherapy on http://allergies.about.com/od/allergyshots/a/slit.htm, SLIT works best on those suffering from a single type allergen like grass or dust mites. Just like with allergy shots, it doesn’t seem to be there for food allergies yet. (Though there are studies going on now of ingesting small amounts of the food allergen in a similar manner).

Allerdrops (www.allerdrops.com) are drops where the serum has been approved for injection, but not yet for SLIT. Check out their website for more information, including safety info and obtaining them, also to see if you are a candidate.

Allergy drops have been found to be safe for children and adults. As with allergy shots, pregnant women can continue to take them if already doing so, but should not begin treatment while pregnant.

There are alternative options out there for your allergies. If allergies are controlling your daily life and you are consistently taking medicine with side effects, don’t be afraid to at least look into them to see if you or someone in your family is a candidate. Things to look for, studies done and history, side effects, who it works for, who wouldn’t be a candidate (age, medical conditions, specific allergies), cost, if insurance pays, etc.

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