Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT or"Allergy Drops") is the name given to allergy vaccines that are administered orally. The extract, rather than being administered by an injection (i.e., (i.e., Allergen Immunotherapy)), is administered as oral allergy drops that are placed under the tongue ("sublingual"), held there for a short period of time, and then swallowed. Sublingual Immunotherapy is a unique form of immunotherapy that combines safety and convenience with excellent benefit. Popular in Europe for many years, SLIT is now being introduced into the United States and is gaining in popularity. Allergy Associates of Western Michigan, P.C. is pleased to be able to offer this treatment option to select patients who suffer from allergic respiratory diseases.
Patients are identified as candidates for SLIT in the same way that Allergen Immunotherapy (AI) patients are, with a thorough evaluation including complete history, limited physical exam, and allergy skin testing.
Advantages of SLIT
- The safety profile allows the treatment to be administered at home, which saves the patient travel time and expense, as well as weekly clinic visits
- SLIT is easier for children (and many adults) because of the lack of injections
- SLIT is ideal for patients whose schedules are complicated by travel or other commitments, or who live long distances from our office
Disadvantages of SLIT
- Sublingual Immunotherapy is currently considered "investigational" and "off-label" in the United States. The FDA has not yet approved the allergen extracts used for SLIT, even though they are the same that are licenced for use in Allergen Immunotherapy (AI)
- Because of the "off-label" status for sublingual immunotherapy, insurance companies are not currently reimbursing this form of treatment, making the expense out-of-pocket for patients.