Allergens and antigens are substances that drive an allergy sufferer crazy and they’re hard to avoid. Most allergy drugs only relieve symptoms, such as sneezing or itchy and watery eyes, on a tempory basis, but our team at St. Louis Sinus Center has managed to find a better solution–allergy drops.

What Are Allergy Drops?

Allergy drops, clinically known as sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT), give the allergy sufferer a minimal dose of what he or she is allergic to in the form of a drop or tablet placed under the tongue. Over the course of the patient’s treatments, which can be easily self-administered at home, their dose will be regularly increased in small increments until they develop a tolerance to the substance causing the allergy.

Over 20 years of clinical trials and surveys published, allergy drops have proven to be effective for rhinitis and asthma caused by allergies to dust mites, grass, ragweed, cat dander, and tree pollens. Additionally, they are being studied for use with hay fever and food allergies.

How Do Allergy Drops Work?

After allergy testingDr. Gould will prepare an allergen extract in drop or tablet form. Patients will place the drop under their tongue and advised not to swallow immediately. The patient should keep the tablet under the tongue for 1-2 minutes so that it fully dissolves. They then repeat this from three days a week to as often as daily. This therapy continues for 3-5 years during which the patient develops a lasting immunity.

Allergy Drops vs. Allergy Shots

Allergy drops and tablets represent a newer form of immunotherapy than allergy shots. The FDA had approved the content of allergy drops before approving them altogether. This changed in 2017 with the first FDA approval of Odactra, the first sublingual treatment for dust mite allergies.

Allergy Immunotherapy Drops

Currently, they are proscribed “off-label,” but this is not unusual in the early stages of a drug’s debut. It’s assumed more approvals will follow. The main difference between the drops and shots, however, is easy. You don’t have to get a shot in the arm with allergy drops. That’s a big one, especially for children. Also, allergy drops can be administered at home after the initial treatment.

Am I A Good Candidate For Allergy Drops?

If you’re allergic to pollens, pet dander, grasses, dust mites, and other typical allergens, these drops could be effective for heading off the itchy eyes and other irritating symptoms.

See What Our Patients Are Saying!

"STL Sinus Center is a game changing physician's office. The attention to detail throughout the facility is top notch, the professionalism of the staff is great, and Dr. Gould is the best in the business. Thanks for all you have done for me!"

- Erich K.

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"I made a consultation here finally after years of sinus and allergy problems. Dr. Gould and his staff knew exactly the treatment I needed and what to do to prevent future problems. I had to have surgery, and as this was my first surgery, Dr. Gould and his staff made me feel at ease and answered any and all questions I had. I highly recommend this office and wish I made an appointment sooner!"

- David R.

Benefits Of Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy offerings, such as allergy drops, are effective solutions for allergies. While drops may not cover all possible allergens, they cover most. Their approach is to treat the root cause of the allergy, rather than simply dealing with the symptoms. By exposing the patient to the allergen in small doses and gradually increasing the amount over time, the patient’s immunity will continue to build up.

Risks Of Immunotherapy Drops

The risks of these drops seem to be mostly local and mild. They occur early in the treatment and can include issues such as itching in the mouth or stomach problems. Adjusting the dosages, via a prescription from professional allergist Dr. Gould, seems to curtail these. Very rarely has anaphylactic shock been reported.

Another potential risk of allergy drops is that they are administered at home without direct medical supervision. But, as long as the patient listens to the guidance our office provides on managing adverse reactions and heeds those instructions, the lack of direct supervision doesn’t need to be a big issue.

How Long Does It Take For Immunotherapy Drops To Work?

Immunotherapy drops for allergy relief work best when thought of as a preventative measure. How quickly it takes for the drops to be effective is variable by the patient. Just know that this isn’t an instant remedy for an allergen, such as tree pollen, that you were exposed to yesterday. This is a long-term effort to build tolerance and immunity.

What Is the Success Rate of Allergy Drops?

Allergy drops, which are also called sublingual immunotherapy, are exciting alternative allergy shots. Once a day, they are taken under the medical supervision of an allergist. In most cases, the first dose is taken in-office to ensure there are no adverse reactions. Once cleared, subsequent doses can be taken at home. With continued use, the goal is to reduce allergic reactions and help your immune system become more tolerant to certain allergens.

The success rate of using allergy drops depends on several factors. These include:

  • The type of allergen.
  • Patient response.
  • Duration of therapy.

Patients who are allergic to dust mites, pet hair, and pollen often have a positive response, However, it is important to note that every patient is different, and the success rate of allergy drops will vary. Patients who suffer from certain types of allergies may not respond as well as others.

How Safe Are Allergy Drops?

When used under the direct supervision of an allergist, allergy drops are a safe alternative to allergy injections. When allergy drops are recommended, a customized solution will be prepared in a small dropper. They will be in different vials, depending on the number of allergies you have. You will be instructed on the proper technique so you can take the allergy drops at home. You will be prescribed an EpiPen, just in the rare case that you have a severe allergic reaction.

What Are the Potential Side Effects?

Just like other medical treatment, there is a chance of side effects, which include:

  • Itching and swelling of the mouth.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Stomach cramps.

Although they are rare, there is also a slight risk of more severe side effects that include swelling of the tongue, an increase in asthmatic symptoms, vomiting, and eosinophilic esophagitis. It is also important to know that the efficacy of allergy drops also depends on when they are taken. Patients who suffer from pollen allergies in the spring usually start treatment in the winter. That way, your body has time to safely adjust to taking allergy drops, thus lowering the risk of an adverse reaction.

Schedule A Consultation

If you have allergies and want to learn more about immunotherapy or allergy drops, please call  314-582-0888 to schedule a consultation with our experienced team at our office’s in St. Louis and Festus, MO. You can change your life with nose surgery and you can take the first step by speaking with us.

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