Allergy Drops, or Sublingual Immunotherapy, is a way of providing allergy desensitization treatment to patients without the need for inconvenient allergy shots. Sublingual drops are administered on your own at home, on a daily basis under the tongue. The drops contain high controlled dosages of allergy-provoking proteins (formulated to your own sensitivities) that provoke an immunity to these allergens in the future. Every patient has a customized cocktail based on allergy test responses.
Sublingual immunotherapy has recently gotten FDA approval (for the treatment of Grass and Ragweed pollens and dust mites), and we are hopeful that combination immunotherapy protocols are soon to follow.
Most patients find the convenience of allergy drops is far superior to allergy shots (some 60% of patients on allergy shots wind up quitting early before clinical effect, mostly due to the inconvenience of frequent office visits).
The safety level of allergy drops is also superior to allergy shots, due to the less rapid uptake orally and the fact that doses are administered daily in small quantity rather than less frequently in larger quantities.
Any patient receiving allergy therapy, either shots or drops, will be required to keep an Epi-Pen injector handy for an extra step of safety assurance.
Most of the data says YES for airborne allergies (pollens, dust, dander). Mold allergies may be a little better treated with allergy shots, but that is controversial. A major reason allergy drops are ultimately more effective is that patients can actually stick to a regimen! There is no weekly trip through traffic to the doctor office to get a shot.
Yes, allergy drop therapy caries a small risk of allergic reaction, even a severe reaction like anaphylaxis. It is extremely rare for drops. Those reactions are more common after allergy shots. We prescribe anaphylaxis rescue medication for those patients getting allergy therapy.
No. Side effects are rare, besides bitter taste.
Usually yes. Some patients start with shots and switch to drops if the trips become inconvenient.
Probably yes. Each test is is a little different. Different manufacturers make testing extracts and so reactions can vary. We do recommend testing again to make the best formula for you.
We currently do not send out allergy shots to other practices to administer and do not allow administering from home. This is a safety protocol. We recommend Allergy Drop therapy if you are unable to come in to our office for shots.