Linda S. Cox, MD


More patients may benefit from this new therapy Sublingual immunotherapy, part 2: Safety and practical considerations key words: Immunotherapy, Allergy, Allergic rhinitis

June 01, 2007

abstract: In the treatment of certain allergies, sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) may represent an attractive alternative to subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT) because of its lower risk of systemic reactions. The most common adverse reactions are local symptoms, such as oral "itchiness." GI complaints, rhinoconjunctivitis, urticaria, and asthma are uncommon reactions to this therapy, and no fatalities have been reported. In contrast to SCIT, accelerated induction schedules for SLIT do not appear to be associated with an increased risk of systemic reactions. SLIT may present an opportunity for broadening the use of immunotherapy by extending it to patients who are not candidates for SCIT because they dislike injections, find the frequent visits to the physician's office inconvenient, or are concerned with the safety of SCIT. The optimal effective dose and dosing schedule need to be established before a cost-benefit analysis can be performed. (J Respir Dis. 2007;28(6):237-243)

Will this soon be an option for some of your patients? Sublingual immunotherapy, part 1: Review of clinical efficacy key words: Immunotherapy, Allergy, Allergic rhinitis

April 15, 2007

abstract: Subcutaneous allergen immunotherapy is clearly beneficial in the treatment of select patients with allergic rhinitis or asthma. However, this therapy is underused, partly because it requires administration in a medical facility. Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) may be a promising alternative; it appears to be associated with fewer adverse effects, which suggests that it might be administered at home. Currently, there is no FDA-approved formulation for SLIT in the United States. However, allergists are showing increased interest in this therapy, and an approved formulation may be available in the near future. A number of studies have shown the clinical efficacy of SLIT, but many questions remain unanswered, including the effective dose, optimal treatment schedules, and overall duration of treatment. (J Respir Dis. 2007;28(4):162-168)