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Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT) Allergy Therapy — Allergy Amulet

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It goes with out saying that the meals allergy group loves acronym—OFC (oral meals problem), IgE (immunoglobulin E), GF (gluten-free), and OIT (oral immunotherapy), to call just a few! 😉 

In the present day we’re digging into a comparatively new acronym that’s rapidly gaining reputation: SLIT (or sublingual immunotherapy). This one is of non-public curiosity to me as a result of my daughter lately began SLIT drops for her seasonal allergy symptoms after years of navigating the stress and ache of weekly allergy photographs.

What’s SLIT?

Sublingual immunotherapy is a reasonably new technique to deal with allergy symptoms. The treatment is delivered sublingually (underneath the tongue) with tablets or drops as a substitute of subcutaneously (underneath the pores and skin) by way of allergy photographs, which has been the normal supply methodology. SLIT shares the identical medical goal as different immunotherapy approaches: eventual tolerance and symptom discount.

What does SLIT therapy entail?

After your allergist confirms your allergy symptoms or sensitivities with both a pores and skin prick or blood take a look at (or each), you’ll be prescribed a SLIT allergen extract that may come within the type of a capsule or liquid drops. You’ll then be instructed to put the extract underneath your tongue for one to 2 minutes earlier than swallowing. Bonus: this therapy could be performed at house!

What’s the price?

SLIT tablets have been accredited by the FDA and are lined by most insurance policy. SLIT drops aren’t, so put together to pay a steeper value in the event you go along with drops.

Tablets or drops—which is best?

There isn’t any proper or fallacious reply. At the moment, tablets can solely be used for the next airborne allergens: home mud mites, grasses, and quick ragweed pollen. Allergy drops, much like allergy injections, supply a broader vary of airborne allergens and are extra customizable for every affected person. For instance, on prime of the allergens talked about above, drops may deal with for timber, cats and canine, molds, and feathers. However once more, drops aren’t at the moment lined by insurance coverage! 💵

How usually is SLIT therapy really helpful?

Relying in your physician’s desire and your physique’s particular wants, SLIT could also be carried out day by day or just a few days every week. Generally therapy is particularly really helpful earlier than and/or throughout peak allergy season. Much like allergy injections, the therapy plan can final a number of years to attain peak and lasting immunity.

How protected is sublingual immunotherapy?

Most medical trials and surveys printed over the previous a number of years present SLIT is comparatively protected and efficient for the therapy of quite a lot of airborne allergens. Proof can also be rising that reveals SLIT could also be efficient for treating hay fever, eczema, and meals allergy symptoms. As with every medical therapy, it’s vital to hunt steering out of your doctor on the therapy protocol and easy methods to handle any hostile reactions in case they happen.

Are there any unintended effects or dangers?

Reported unintended effects to SLIT tablets or drops are typically delicate and often happen proper after administering the dose. Uncomfortable side effects might embrace swelling, itching, or abdomen points. They’ll often be managed by adjusting the dosage. Extreme allergic reactions are uncommon.

It’s vital to bear in mind affected person compliance is vital with SLIT because it’s administered at house. Additionally, endurance is vital! The therapy might not work instantly, as it will possibly take just a few months to construct a tolerance to airborne allergens and years to obtain the total profit.

How do I do know if I’m a candidate for SLIT?

It’s all the time a good suggestion to start out with a dialog together with your supplier. That mentioned, there are just a few situations the place SLIT isn’t really helpful, together with if in case you have:

  • Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE)

  • Acute bronchial asthma

  • A  sensitivity/allergy to the inactive elements within the tablets or drops 

  • A historical past of extreme reactions to SLIT

In my expertise, there are all the time advantages AND dangers to weigh when contemplating any allergy-related therapy. Although I’ll say, SLIT has been very simple to work into my busy pre-teen’s schedule—no downtime after administering drops has been a plus!

Have you ever tried SLIT for managing allergy symptoms? What’s been your expertise?

— Meg and the Amulet Staff

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