All About Allergy Drops (SLIT)

  • Allergy drops (SLIT) can be very effective for allergic rhinitis due to ragweed, some grasses, and dust mites. They are associated with fewer side effects. There exist four FDA-approved allergy drops, although other types are also used as off-label drugs.


    Allergy drop is another option for allergy shots. Both work in treating allergies in different ways. Allergy shots are injected in small doses of an allergen under your skin with a needle, whereas allergy drops are taken orally.


    Working of Allergy Drops


    SCIT and SLIT are nothing but the forms of allergen immunotherapy. It refers to frequent exposure to small doses of things you are allergic to. This will make you less sensitive to it. Allergy drops are given to you by placing the allergen under your tongue, this is called as sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT). Immunotherapy unlike antihistamines treats the condition itself rather than treating allergy symptoms.


    In this process, your immune system tries to get rid of it, when your body is exposed to a moderate to a large amount of allergen. This results in the familiar symptoms of allergic rhinitis, such as sneezing, runny nose, and watery eyes.


    Alternatively, under the repeated exposure to little but increasing doses of the allergen, your immune system is desensitized. Ultimately, your body gets adjusted to the allergen. This results in less severe symptoms when exposed to it.


    Allergy drops cover following types of allergies


    Treatment with allergy drops has only been approved by the FDA for four allergens.


    1. Ragweed
    2. Timothy grass
    3. Dust Mites
    4. A combination of five grass species


    Benefits of Allergy drops


    1. Good for allergic rhinitis


    Many studies revealed that allergy drops are effective and safe for treating allergic rhinitis but there wasn’t enough evidence for allergy shots though it was safe and effective too.


    Fewer side effects compared to shots


    According to the study on the safety of immunotherapy, the chance of severe reactions is much lower for allergy drops compared to allergy shots.

    1. Allergic reactions less severe or gone for years

    It was studied that symptom relief continued for 2-3 years after SLIT or allergy drop treatment was stopped after conducted for three years.


    Forms of allergy drops


    Allergy drops (SLIT) come in liquid as well as tablet form. Currently, all allergy drops are in tablet form approved by the FDA. The FDA hasn’t approved the liquid form, but still evaluating the safety of it.


    How allergy drops are taken


    After performing the allergy testing to determine what type of allergy you are dealing with, you will be given a tablet containing the small extract of your specific allergen. The first dose of this allergy drops is given by mouth at your doctor’s office. After placing the tablet under your tongue, it is dissolved. You do not have to swallow for one minute or eat or drink for five minutes afterwards. Then, after the observation for 30 minutes after taking the tablet, the treatment is taken forward. If a person can tolerate the first allergy drop, the rest of the allergy drops can be taken on your own.