Sublingual Immunotherapy in Westchester, NY
For those at the mercy of allergies from dust mites, pollen, cat dander, grass, ragweed, and basically nature itself, a European treatment option, Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT), has crossed the pond and is currently undergoing FDA approval. SLIT has been shown to be an immensely effective alternative to allergy shots.
What is Sublingual Immunotherapy?
Sublingual is a technical term for “placed under the tongue.” As a small, dissolvable pill, sublingual immunotherapy administers a controlled dose of a specific allergen.
Conventional allergy shots work the same way. The treatment is designed to help limit and eliminate allergies long-term, not just reduce the annoying—even dangerous—symptoms of allergies. To eliminate allergies forever, you need to build a tolerance, and to build a tolerance you need to gradually expose yourself to the very thing which initiates your allergies. Allergy shots inject a small amount of specific allergens into your system; SLIT does the same thing, only without trips to the doctor and shots. Sublingual immunotherapy can be done in the comfort of your home.
Is SLIT an Allergy Pill?
Not exactly. Conventional over-the-counter allergy pills only treat the symptoms of allergies like a runny nose, hives, and congestion. Conventional allergy pills leave the underlying condition, your allergies, intact to rear their ugly head again—and again. SLIT acts to slowly desensitize you to your specific allergy triggers.
An allergist will first begin by conducting an allergy test to determine what specific triggers start an allergic reaction. Once these have been established a SLIT pill will be matched to your needs. From three days a week to every day (depending on your needs), you’ll place the SLIT pill under your tongue for 2 minutes, then swallow. You’ll perform this treatment regimen for three to five years, the time it takes to establish a lasting immunity to a given allergy.
The great part about sublingual immunotherapy is that it’s been effectively used in children under the age of five. For many children (and parents), a home administered pill is much easier than a doctor administered shot every week. Just think, by the time your children reach age 10, they could be allergy free. No more seasonal allergies, hay fever, pet allergies and—in some cases—SLIT has been suggested in eliminating food allergies .
Risks of Sublingual Immunotherapy
The main issue facing SLIT is that it has not yet been approved by the FDA—though the approval process is underway. SLIT has, however, gained acceptance from the pharmaceutical regulatory bodies of Europe, Asia, South America and Australia. This means that the use of sublingual immunotherapy is considered “off-label” (unproven by the FDA), at least until the long process of FDA approval is finally completed.
Side-effects are rare, but they have occurred. Itching in the mouth and stomach discomfort has both been reported in a small number of those taking SLIT. In very rare instances, severe allergic reactions have taken place, specifically anaphylaxis. That said, anaphylaxis may result from traditional allergy shots as well.
Request more information about sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) today. Call (929) 244-4466 or contact Manhattan Integrative Medicine online.
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