Although it has not been widely used in the United States, the track record for SLIT spans more than 60 years. It’s relatively common in Europe, particularly in Italy, France and Spain where sublingual therapy account for 75% of all immunotherapy treatments. It has a proven safety record which allows it to be administered at home. This added convenience and cost effectiveness encourages better patient compliance.
The interest in SLIT in the US is growing fast. At the 2003 College of Allergy meeting several SLIT studies we’re highlighted during the annual literature review. The American Academy of Otolaryngologic Allergy is coming out with a position statement this year. A recent Coachrane meta-analysis of SLIT showed a 42% reduction in symptoms and a 43% reduction in medication use in those patients treated with SLIT. In 1998, the World Health Organization called sublingual therapy a “viable alternative” to injection therapy.
In addition, favorable results with more than 40 double-blind, placebo-controlled studies have been published recently in the medical literature. For a full bibliography of peer-reviewed literature supporting the safety and efficacy of SLIT, see www.allergychoices.com.