Sublingual immunotherapy is an allergy treatment that aims to help patients build immunity to a substance through a regular series of doses delivered over time. Traditional (subcutaneous) immunotherapy involves injections, while sublingual immunotherapy is delivered via allergy drops taken orally.
Once your allergist determines the substance responsible for your allergies, a liquid extract is developed. It should be placed under the tongue for a minute or two and then swallowed. This is repeated every day, and treatment lasts from three to five years. As you begin to build a tolerance, the dosage size is increased. Your allergy symptoms should become less severe over time, and in many cases will eventually disappear.
Sublingual immunotherapy is most effective in patients allergic to pollen, dust mites and pet dander. It does not benefit those with food or chemical allergies. There are several benefits to sublingual immunotherapy versus subcutaneous immunotherapy including ease of use, better compliance and a lower risk of side effects or complications.
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