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Allergy Drop Immunotherapy
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100 Wason Avenue
Springfield, MA 01107
(413) 734-2371 Fax
766 North King Street
Northampton, MA 01060
(413) 586-8073 Fax
Mary Lane Hospital
85 South Street
Ware, MA 01082
Monday - Friday
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Allergy Drop Immunotherapy
By Jerry Schreibstein, MD, FACS
About Allergy Drops
Allergy drop immunotherapy, also known as sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT), is a treatment that like allergy shots, treats the root cause of allergies instead of temporarily relieving symptoms. Like allergy shots, allergy drops deliver a slowly increasing dose of antigen that, over time, builds the body's tolerance to the substances that cause allergic symptoms. Instead of delivery through an injection, allergy drops are placed under the tongue.
Who can receive Allergy Drops?
Although most people who suffer from allergies and related illnesses can benefit from allergy drops, many people aren't aware that allergy drops are an option. For those whose allergies prevent them from living a full, productive life, allergy drops can be a safe, effective and affordable option that can reduce and even eliminate their allergic reactions. Allergy drops are especially helpful for people who can’t tolerate or don’t respond to allergy shots.
What are the advantages of allergy drops?
Aside from being an effective option for a broader range of patients, there are other advantages to allergy drops:
- Lower cost, fewer clinic visits. Allergy drops are affordable and require few clinic visits after your initial testing – typically only a few clinic visits the first year, and once every 6-12 months thereafter until visits are no longer needed.
- More convenient, fewer medications. You can take allergy drops at home or wherever you need to be, making it much easier to stay with treatment until it’s no longer needed. And most patients find they need less medication to control symptoms soon after beginning allergy drops.
- More healthy days. The end benefit is simply feeling better. Patients typically report fewer allergy-related clinic visits and hospitalizations, and less time lost from work or school, after taking drops consistently.
An Effective and Safe Treatment
Allergy drops are safe and effective. Dosing levels and the route of administration are safe enough to effectively treat infants, children, and people suffering from chronic conditions that previously made them unable to receive immunotherapy via shots. Allergy drop immunotherapy significantly reduces allergy symptoms and use of allergy medications.
The World Health Organization had endorsed sublingual immunotherapy as a viable alternative to injection therapy.
How do I begin?
Your doctor will first examine you and you will be tested (by a blood test) to confirm your allergies. If your doctor confirms you’re a candidate for allergy drop treatment, he or she will order a prescription based on your allergies and level of sensitivity. Your doctor will want to retest you and adjust your dosing throughout your treatment as your tolerance increases. You may be asked to make lifestyle changes to lessen your exposure to those items that cause your reactions, and you may receive medications to help temporarily treat allergy symptoms as your body builds tolerance.
The La Crosse Method protocol that we follow encourages patients to take their drops three times a day, every day. Making it part of your usual routine, for example after brushing your teeth in the morning and at bedtime, and after you get home from school or work, can help you remain consistent. Research shows that patients who take their drops consistently three times a day, every day, tend to feel better more quickly, and can potentially shorten the length of time they need to stay on treatment. Though it may be tempting to stop treatment once you start feeling better, it’s important to stay with your treatment until your doctor recommends that you stop in order to get the long-term tolerance the treatment can provide.
Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeons of Western New England, with Barry Jacobs, MD, FACS; Theodore Mason, MD; Grant Moore, MD, FACS; Daniel Plosky, MD; Jacquelyn Reilly, MD; Carl Reiner, MD; Jerry Schreibstein, MD, FACS; Kimberly Byrne, PA-C; and Adam Sprague, PA-C offers allergy drop immunotherapy. Please ask your doctor or physician assistant for additional information. To learn more about Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeons of Western New England please visit our web site at www.entassociates.org
. To make an appointment, please call (413) 732-7426.