Oral Immunotherapy is an extensively tested, safe, and effective immunotherapy treatment for those suffering from allergy-induced rhinitis, conjunctivitis, asthma, urticaria (hives), or dermatitis (eczema). This form of immunotherapy can be effective for those suffering from symptoms caused by a number of airborne allergens, such as pollen, grass, weeds, molds, pet dander, and dust mites.
Upon evaluation of your specific allergen(s) by our certified allergy specialist, Dr. Reshamwala, she will create a mixture of allergen extracts unique to your needs. This mixture can be taken in either a tablet or liquid drop form under the tongue on a daily basis. Upon starting oral immunotherapy, detailed information and a demonstration on safe and effective use will be provided in our clinic, in person. However, outside of this initial office visit, regular follow-ups, and yearly remix assessments, oral immunotherapy can be performed entirely at home, which is a convenient benefit many individuals enjoy. As with allergy shots (subcutaneous immunotherapy), allergy drops must be taken over a period of three to five years to develop immunity, even though symptoms may improve after just a few months of use.
Those who benefit the most from environmental allergy drops include:
- Individuals uncomfortable with needles
- People with busy schedules that prevent regular office visits
- Individuals with a history of beta-blocker usage who cannot receive shots (please note that individuals currently taking beta-blockers cannot undergo immunotherapy due to increased risk of severe anaphylaxis)
- Those with a history of severe anaphylaxis due to allergy shots
Those who may not benefit from environmental allergy drops include:
- Anyone with severe food allergies
- Those who suffer from oral allergy syndrome
- Individuals who react to a wide variety of allergens
Individuals undergoing oral immunotherapy have commonly reported mild side effects of use, such as an itchy mouth. However, more moderate or severe side effects are much less common, and developing a severe anaphylactic reaction after taking allergy drops is exceedingly rare. Despite this, for your own safety, Dr. Reshamwala recommends patients premedicate prior to sublingual drop use and have an injectable epinephrine pen on hand.
Allergy drop therapy has historically not been covered by most insurances, however, if your allergist and you believe this is the best option for you, feel free to contact your insurance provider for an estimate on cost and coverage.
In addition, you may have heard that allergy drop therapy is not FDA-approved. However, the same allergen extracts that are used in subcutaneous shot therapy are used in sublingual drop therapy. Rather, it is the method of administration (tablets or bottled drops versus injections) that is considered “off-label.” Allergists across the nation recommend this type of legal, widely-accepted therapy to their patients.
Learn more at https://www.aaaai.org
Next stepsIf you are interested in further discussion about your specific needs, Dr. Reshamwala is happy to see you and answer any questions you may have. Please call 512-382-1933 or email email@example.com to schedule an appointment today! Book an appointment
Written by: Dr. Neha Reshamwala
NPI number: 1780874578
Page last reviewed: 03/20/21