About Allergy Drops
Allergy drop immunotherapy, also known as sublingual immunotherapy, 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 (something that helps your body fight disease) 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, an area rich in specialized dendritic (immune) cells.
Research shows these cells are a friendlier and more effective route for building long-term tolerance, making it ideal for people who can not tolerate or don’t respond to allergy shots. Treatment for most patients lasts between three to five years, depending upon severity of allergies (how bad they are) and patient compliance (following directions).
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, including:
- Infants and children*
- People with severe asthma
- Highly sensitive patients
- Patients with chronic conditions including sinusitis
- Patients with food and/or mold allergies
- Patients with multiples allergies including dust, pollens, animals and chemicals
*Allergy drops can be especially helpful for children with eczema and recurrent ear infections, which often have underlying allergic causes.
Research shows that many children with untreated eczema and allergies develop asthma and other chronic conditions later in life.
Treating them early on can have life-long benefits and potentially prevent related conditions from developing.
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.
A safe and effective treatment Allergy drops have been used around the world for more than 60 years, and many studies show that 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. The World Health Organization had endorsed sublingual immunotherapy as a viable alternative to injection therapy.
The well-respected Cochrane Collaboration, the world’s most-trusted international organization dedicated to reviewing healthcare treatments, recently concluded that allergy drop immunotherapy significantly reduced allergy symptoms and use of allergy medications. The safety profile for sublingual immunotherapy is superior to injection immunotherapy based on research studies and patient treatment experience. Local reactions (rash, swelling, redness where you place the drops) occur less with allergy drops, and there has never been an anaphylactic reaction (life threatening) recorded over the 40+ years of sublingual treatment using the La Crosse Method protocol that we follow.
You can find an expanded list of research studies at www.Allergychoices.com/bibliography.
How do I begin? Your doctor will first examine and test you to confirm your allergies. If your doctor agrees you’re a candidate for allergy drop treatment, he or she will order a prescription based on your allergies and level of sensitivity.
Stay in Touch with your Doctor Your doctor will want to test you again and adjust your dosing throughout your treatment as your tolerance increases (and allergic reaction lessens). You may be asked to make lifestyle changes to reduce 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.
Most patients find their allergy drop treatment lasts three to five years based on their level of sensitivity and how well they follow treatment instructions.
Stay Consistent 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.