I’ve heard that allergy drops are not approved by the FDA. Is that safe?
Currently, antigens are labeled by the FDA for use through injections. Using them for sublingual immunotherapy is an off-label use of an FDA-approved biologic, which is both legal and highly common. Most physicians prescribe “off-label” use of a myriad of drugs today, for example, the use of blood pressure medications for migraines, aspirin for heart conditions, or the use of arthritis drugs for the treatment of shingles.
If drops are so effective, why don’t more patients receive them?
How long will I need to take my drops?
How long can I expect the effects of allergy drops to last?
The key to ensuring the effects last is compliance, which is an additional benefit of allergy drops. Studies show that patients taking allergy drops tend to stay with their treatment 90 percent of the time, which is significantly higher than with other routes of treatment. Why is compliance so much higher? Patient appreciate the convenience of being able to take their drops wherever they are, eliminating the need to make frequent clinic visits and the savings in time and money that result. They also tend to see improvement within one to three months, which motivates them to continue a treatment that leaves them continuing to feel better.
But even the best treatments won’t work if you don’t stay with them. Like allergy shot treatment, it’s important to stay with allergy drop treatment until your doctor has determined treatment can be discontinued. A typical patient will continue treatment for three to five years, depending upon the severity of allergic problems.
Continuing with your treatment will help you reap the long-term rewards. A recent study showed that the use of allergy drops with children can significantly lessen the development of asthma later in life—as much as an 80 percent decrease than found in patients who haven’t had immunotherapy. These finding are consistent with the Pediatric Asthma Treatment study done by leading European researchers who found similar results with injection therapy.
Sublingual immunotherapy, also known as allergy drops, has been used in the U.S. for more than 35 years, with research dating back 40 years. Its use dates approximately 100 years in some parts of the world. Yet many allergy sufferers have heard little about this treatment option. Thanks to an increase in European research over the past decade and tremendous growth in the use of allergy drops worldwide, we now have valid scientific evidence that corroborates what many have known for decades—allergy drops are both safe and effective. Sublingual immunotherapy will likely prove to be one of the most important innovations in allergy treatment in the past century.
Until allergy drops are more widely available in the U.S. and more resources are dedicated to educating providers and patients about allergy drops, it’s important to understand the facts about this treatment to help you determine whether it’s the right course of treatment for you.
Who should take allergy drops?
*Allergy drops have proven especially helpful for children with eczema and recurrent ear infections, which often have underlying allergic causes. Research shows that many children with untreated eczema and allergies often develop asthma and other chronic conditions later in life, so treating them early can have life-long benefits.
What are the advantages of allergy drops?
Are allergy drops safe? Is there research validating their effectiveness?
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