As we all know, allergy shots are literally a pain. The bothersome swelling, itchiness, and redness at the injection site are typically repeated monthly, sometimes up to 12 months before noticing an improvement in your allergy symptoms. Treatment is generally continued for roughly three to five years for most sufferers. That’s up to 60 sixty shots! In addition, allergy shots are just not a viable option for some patients. With allergy drops, patients simply drop the liquid under their tongue in the comfort of their own home – a delivery method that is painless and does not require weekly trips to the doctor. Your child will thank you!
Europe has been using allergy drops for the past two decades. Research has shown strong evidence that drop therapy can be more effective compared to other treatments. In 8 of 13 studies performed by John Hopkins researchers, drop therapy produced a 40 percent or greater reduction in coughing, wheezing, and tightness in the chest. Further research shows in nine of 36 studies, there was a reduction in a runny nose, sneezing, and nasal congestion. The methods included in the studies did not directly compare to only shots; it includes such therapies as inhaled steroids, antihistamines, and nasal steroid sprays. Although allergy drops are not yet approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, they’re often prescribed for off-label use and insurance will not cover them.
All immunotherapy comes with risks, such as triggering allergic reactions. However, the evidence does support that allergy drops are less likely to have serious reactions compared to shots. For those who travel or suffer from a fear of needles, there are options. Ask your ENT or Allergist about sublingual immunotherapy – it just might work for you and your family!
Dallas Fort Worth ENT Allergist Dr. Jeff West explains the benefits of drop vs. shot therapy.