FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
You Asked, We Answered
WHAT IS ALLERGY IMMUNOTHERAPY?
Allergy immunotherapy treats the cause of allergies by delivering small doses of the allergen in tolerable amounts. Exposure to these small doses over time increases the immunity or tolerance to the allergens to reduce and eliminate the allergenic symptoms. Sublingual immunotherapy delivers the allergen in drop form under the tongue and can be taken at home, whereas injections are done in a doctors office and require medical supervision.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SUBLINGUAL AND INJECTION ALLERGY IMMUNOTHERAPY?
Allergy immunotherapy was traditionally given by injection. However, increasingly, allergy drops, given under the tongue are being prescribed. Both methods are effective in treating the root cause of allergies. Injections are required to be given in a physicians office, whereas allergy drops can be taken at home. Allergy shots are less expensive but take longer to see results.
ARE ALLERGY SHOTS SAFE? ARE THE CLINICALLY PROVEN?
Allergy drops are clinically proven for both efficacy and safety. In fact, there are more than 700 citations in clinical trials worldwide.
Sublingual Immunotherapy has been endorsed by:
World Health Organization – ‘sublingual immunotherapy as a viable alternative to injection therapy’
Cochrane Collaboration the world’s most-trusted international organization dedicated to reviewing healthcare treatments, recently concluded ‘allergy drop immunotherapy significantly reduced allergy symptoms and use of allergy medications’. See our bibliography for more information about research studies.
World Allergy Organization states that: ‘ sublingual immunotherapy is effective in alleviating allergy symptoms to a similar or even greater extent than pharmacological treatments for both asthma and allergic rhinitis’
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO SEE RESULTS?
Allergy immunotherapy is a means to an end. It will treat the underlying cause of the allergy so that the reactions minimize over time, eventually disappearing altogether. With sublingual immunotherapy, patients should see a reduction in symptoms between 30 and 60 days after starting treatment. For long term results, both sublingual and injection serums have a typical treatment regimen between 2- 5 years. Studies show that this year round treatment for 2- 5 years can result in a permanent desensitization that lasts many years after completion. No more allergy symptoms means no more medication of any kind!
IS ALLERGY SERUM COVERED BY INSURANCE?
Allergy Serum is covered by most extended health care programs and by many government programs. Talk to your pharmacist or your insurance provider to find out if you are covered.
HOW DO I GET ALLERGY IMMUNOTHERAPY?
Allergy serum is by prescription only. Talk to your health care provider about proper diagnosis and treatment for your allergies.
DOES IT NEED TO BE REFRIGERATED?
While allergy injection serums require refrigeration, sublingual serums are stable at room temperature.
HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO TAKE IT?
Sublingual Allergy Drops need to be taken daily to see the best results. Allergy injections are given once a week to start, then monthly. Talk to your doctor about the right dosage schedule for you.
WHAT ARE THE INGREDIENTS?
Each prescription is a custom solution for each patient according to the type and severity of allergy. Drop prescriptions contain concentrates of the allergen the patient is found to be allergic to upon testing. Antigens are put into a glycerin solution for stability. There are no additional preservatives added.
WHAT KIND OF ALLERGIES CAN BE TREATED BY IMMUNOTHERAPY?
Allergy immunotherapy can treat a broad range of allergies, including those caused by dust mites, pollen, mould, animals, and seasonal allergies including grass, trees, and ragweed. We do not treat food allergies with sublingual or subcutaneous immunotherapy.
The selection of products manufactured by Sanatio Allergy are not only of the highest quality, but are also available in a variety of options to ensure you find exactly what you’re looking for. With top-of-the-line materials, cutting-edge production technologies and a highly qualified team, we guarantee complete satisfaction.
WHAT IS THE OPTIMAL SUBLINGUAL IMMUNOTHERAPY DOSAGE SCHEDULE?
Until quite recently, widespread adoption amongst the medical community has faced some challenges, in large part due to the variability of sublingual immunotherapy dosing schedules. In response to this, the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy formed with SLIT Working Consensus Group in 2007. Dosage guidelines we established in 2007 and updated again in 2009 based on the findings of the Greer short ragweed data presented at the AAAAI meeting of that year. European guidelines on SLIT dosing are comparable, as are the recommended dosage parameters for SLIT tablets by major manufacturers. Sanatio Allergy understands that following this dosage protocol is extremely important to simplifying and standardizing SLIT. Whats more, we know it works. We regularly get excellent feedback from physicians and patients alike.
WHO IS AN IDEAL CANDIDATE FOR SLIT?
Patients that have experienced allergy symptoms for more than one season and that have not responded well to pharmacotherapy are excellent candidates for SLIT. Patients on beta blockers, the elderly or severely immunocompromised, and children under the age of 3 are contraindicated for SLIT.
IS SLIT APPROVED ?
The antigens used in sublingual allergy drops are the same FDA and Health Canada approved antigens used in allergy shots. They’re also prepared in the same way as allergy shots in a GMP lab by trained compounding pharmacists. The difference is the route of administration — a dispenser that delivers a drop of antigen under the tongue versus a syringe injecting antigen into tissue.
Currently, antigens are labeled for use through injections. Using them for sublingual immunotherapy is an off-label use of an 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.
HOW EFFECTIVE SLIT
Although allergy shots are still considered by many Allergists to be the “gold standard” for allergy treatment in Australia, allergy drops constitute more than 85% of allergy treatment prescriptions in Europe. SLIT has been established by leading health authorities worldwide (WHO, WAO, AAAAI, Cochrane Collaboration, AAOA) as effective in relieving allergy and asthma symptoms, decreasing and eliminating the need for symptom management medications, and preventing further sensitivities.
HOW DOES THE COST COMPARE TO SCIT
SLIT is more expensive than SCIT, however, there are many hidden costs with SCIT. For example, SCIT patients are required to visit the doctor for each injection and wait for 30 minutes after the injection in office. Time away from work, parking, child care, etc all play a factor in the costs of injection serum. With sublingual, the patient takes the first dose in office, and after that, the patient can take serum at home following a very simple and easy to follow dosage schedule.
WHAT ABOUT SAFTEY?
Allergy drops have been used around the world for more than 25 years, and numerous studies validate both safety and effectiveness. The safety profile of SLIT is excellent and far exceeds that of SCIT. A study in 2013 shows that over 15% of Allergists in North America are now prescribing SLIT for their patients, and that number is steadily increasing.