Allergies can be a relentless adversary, turning simple pleasures like the outdoors or pet ownership into sources of discomfort. For those seeking an effective way to manage allergic reactions, allergy drops have emerged as a promising alternative to traditional treatments.
Also known as sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT), allergy drops offer a convenient and potentially less invasive way to combat allergies. In this article, we’ll delve into the world of allergy drops, understanding how they work, what they can treat, how they’re administered, and how they compare to their more well-known counterpart, allergy shots.
How Allergy Drops Work on Your Allergies
Allergy drops operate on a similar principle to allergy shots. They harness the body’s immune system to build tolerance to specific allergens, such as pollen, dust mites, pet dander, and more. However, instead of injecting these allergens into the bloodstream, as with allergy shots, allergy drops are administered orally.
Patients place a small amount of allergen extract under the tongue, where it’s absorbed through the mucous membranes. Over time, the immune system becomes desensitized to the allergen, reducing the severity of allergic reactions.
FDA-Approved Allergies That Allergy Drops Can Treat
The FDA has approved allergy drops for specific allergens, making them a legitimate and safe option for managing allergies.
Allergy drops have been approved for treating allergic rhinitis due to dust mites, particularly grass and ragweed pollens. It’s important to consult with an allergist to determine whether your specific allergies can be effectively managed using allergy drops.
FDA approved sublingual allergen extract tablets to serve a singular purpose – to provide treatment. These tablets are formulated from natural substances that are recognized for their ability to trigger allergic reactions in susceptible individuals. They are specifically designed for addressing allergic rhinitis, whether accompanied by allergic conjunctivitis or not.
Why FDA Restricts Allergy Drops
The FDA places restrictions on the usage of allergy drops to ensure patient safety. Allergy drops are considered a form of prescription medication. They must be prescribed and supervised by a qualified healthcare professional. This ensures the treatment is tailored to the patient’s allergies and medical history, minimizing the risk of adverse reactions.
Allergy Drops vs. Allergy Shots
While both allergy drops and shots aim to achieve the same result—reduced allergic reactions—their methods and implications differ. Allergy drops are less invasive and can be administered at home, making them a more convenient option for many patients.
However, allergy shots, or subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT), are administered via injections at a healthcare provider’s office. The two choices depend on patient preference, medical history, and the allergens being treated.
Forms of Allergy Drops and How They Are Administered
Allergy drops are available in various forms, such as tablets or liquids. The most common liquid form involves placing a few drops under the tongue. The tablet form, placed under the tongue until it dissolves, has gained popularity due to its convenience and portability. Your allergist will guide you in selecting the most suitable form based on your needs and allergies.
How to Use Allergy Drops: Dosage, Frequency, Emergencies, and Duration
When it comes to managing allergies with allergy drops, proper usage is essential for achieving effective results while ensuring your safety. Understanding how to use allergy drops, how often to take them, what to do in case of emergencies, and how long the treatment should last will empower you to make informed decisions about your allergy management plan.
Dosage and Frequency
The dosage and frequency of allergy drops will vary based on your allergist’s recommendations and the specific allergens being treated. Typically, allergy drops are started at a low dose and gradually increased to build tolerance. Your allergist will determine the appropriate starting dose and schedule based on your medical history and the severity of your allergies.
Commonly, allergy drops are taken daily, either once or multiple times a day, depending on the specific treatment plan. It’s important to follow your allergist’s instructions meticulously to ensure the effectiveness of the treatment.
In Case of Emergencies
Allergy drops are designed to be a long-term treatment for managing allergies and are not intended for immediate relief during allergic reactions or emergencies. In case of severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis), which can be life-threatening, it’s crucial to have an epinephrine auto-injector on hand at all times. Anaphylaxis symptoms can include difficulty breathing, swelling of the throat or face, rapid pulse, and a drop in blood pressure.
If you experience any unexpected or severe symptoms while using allergy drops, especially those resembling anaphylaxis, seek medical attention immediately. Make sure your allergist provides you with clear instructions on when and how to use your epinephrine auto-injector.
Duration of Treatment
The duration of allergy drop treatment varies but usually spans several years. The goal is to gradually build up your tolerance to allergens, leading to long-lasting symptom relief even after the treatment is completed. Some patients may experience significant improvement within the first year, while others might require a longer course of treatment.
Your allergist will monitor your progress and determine when it’s appropriate to stop or reduce the frequency of the allergy drops. It’s essential to complete the recommended treatment duration to achieve optimal results.
Allergy drops, or sublingual immunotherapy, offer a promising avenue for managing allergic reactions. They work by desensitizing the immune system to specific allergens and are FDA-approved for certain allergies. While the FDA restricts their use to ensure patient safety, they can be conveniently self-administered at home.
When considering allergy drops, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare provider to determine if they’re the right option for you. As research in the field of allergies continues to evolve, these innovative treatments may offer even more effective solutions for allergy sufferers in the years to come.
Precise allergy testing and treatment are pivotal in pinpointing your allergen triggers, alleviating discomforting symptoms, and effectively managing any adverse reactions. If you’re seeking to identify the specific nature of your allergies, consider visiting First Care Medical Clinic in Monroe and various other regions across North Carolina.