FDA Approves Grastek, Merck’s Grass Allergy Pill; Joins Oralair In New Round Of Immunotherapies
Spring is here, and it’s bringing seasonal allergies along with it. So it’s no surprise that a new round of allergy medications are getting approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — though they probably should have looked to an earlier release — the most recent of which is Merck’s Grastek, a sublingual — going under the tongue — pill for treating grass allergies.
Grastek is the second sublingual oral immunotherapy (SLIT) to be approved this month and the first of three that Merck plans to market, MedPage Today reported. Once placed under the tongue, it dissolves and super small doses of timothy grass extract are released into the body with the purpose of weaning a person’s allergies out of severity. Although it’s only made with the extract of timothy grass pollen, it’s cross reactive, and therefore can help treat other grass allergies as well, including sweet vernal, orchard, perennial rye, Kentucky blue, and red top.