Sublingual immunotherapy treats the underlying cause of allergies without injections. It is a once-a-day tablet that dissolves very quickly under the tongue.
The patient is given a small dose of the allergen, which gradually increases “immunity” or tolerance and can result in fewer or less severe symptoms (similar to how allergy shots work).
Safe, effective and convenient
Some allergy treatment centers have offered sublingual immunotherapy for many years, but the medication has been used "off-label" and is not FDA regulated or approved.
The only types of sublingual immunotherapy currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are for grass and ragweed pollen; both are available at Gundersen Health System.
The first dose of either drug is given at the doctor’s office and the patient is monitored for 30 minutes for symptoms of a serious allergic reaction. If it is well tolerated, the patient can take the tablet daily from the convenience of their home.
Grass sublingual immunotherapy is approved for adults and children as young as 5 years of age. Ragweed sublingual immunotherapy is approved for adults ages 18 to 65.
Start treatment before allergy season begins
Treatment should be started 12 weeks before the allergy season begins and continued daily through the end of the season. So, grass sublingual immunotherapy should be started in January and ragweed sublingual immunotherapy should be started in May.
Call Gundersen Allergy and Immunology for an appointment. A board-certified allergist will perform allergy testing and an evaluation, and will discuss your best treatment option.