Drops, known as “sublingual immunotherapy” (SLIT), are another way to administer immunotherapy, and have been proven both safe and effective. However, the process is not yet FDA-approved, so it is not generally covered by insurance. It is more convenient though, and typically costs no more than shots so many patients find it an attractive option.
Whereas allergy shots are typically given once or twice a week in the doctor’s office, allergy drops are taken two to three times a day at home. They taste sweet and only take a few seconds to administer.
Overall, SLIT is an underutilized treatment. Although shots are effective and drops are not meant to replace them, there are limits to which patients can be treated with shots. The benefit of allergy drops is that antigens are delivered to cells through a much friendlier route, the mouth (oral mucosa). Evidence has shown that the dendritic cells in the oral mucosa actually serve to “down regulate” the immune system when they are stimulated with the antigen (allergy drops).
Frequently Asked Questions about SLIT
History of SLIT
Although it has not been widely used in the United States, SLIT has been used for more than 60 years elsewhere.
When to Use SLIT
Allergy drops (SLIT) work well for treating children, food allergies, and chronic sinusitis.
SLIT Protocols Used at Our Clinic
We are currently offering some of the well worked out allergy drop protocols from LaCrosse Allergy Associates.