Grazax has out-performed traditional anti-histamine tablets and nasal sprays in trials, cutting symptoms by 30%.
Initially, the once-a-day pill will only be available on prescription, and is recommended for patients who have not responded to current treatments.
Developed by ALK-Abello, is it taken for at least eight weeks before and during the summer pollen season.
|“Patients in general prefer to take a pill rather than have an injection“ProfessorStephenDurham
It is a form of immunotherapy (desensitisation treatment) containing an extract of timothy grass, and is known to be effective against all forms of grass pollen that cause hayfever in Europe.
Effectively, the body is given the chance to build up a tolerance to the protein which triggers hayfever symptoms by being exposed to tiny amounts of it in the pill.
In tests, it not only cut hayfever symptoms but also reduced the need for remedial “rescue” treatment, given when symptoms re-emerge, by 40%.
Anti-histamine tablets have been shown to cut hayfever symptoms by up to 20%, and nasal sprays by up to 30%.
International clinical trials of Grazax showed 83% of patients who took the pill said that their hayfever was better compared with previous years.
Its effect is also much longer-lasting. The effects of a steroidal nasal spray wear off in about a week. In contrast, an eight-week course of Grazax can keep hayfever at bay for a whole season.