SLIT Facts

posted on January 12, 2011

Currently, the only treatment known to change underlying allergic disease is immunotherapy.

Through immunotherapy, patients receive small amounts of the substance that causes their allergies, helping to build tolerance to the substance.

The historical approach to those with allergies is to avoid their allergens or offenders such as peanuts or bees; a variation of medications including steroids and drugs; and injection immunotherapy.

Allergy drops work by delivering a small dose of what a patient is allergic to, desensitizing the body until they have built a tolerance to their specific allergens.

Allergy drops work like allergy shots using the same physician-prescribed and FDA approved antigens, but the route of administration is delivered under the tongue.

Sublingual administration is an off-label use of an FDA-approved product. Currently, allergenic extracts are FDA regulated and labeled for administration by subcutaneous injection. Off-label use is both legal and highly common—especially for complex treatments.

Most physicians prescribe “off-label” use of a myriad of drugs today, for example, the use of blood pressure medications for migraines, or the use of arthritis drugs for the treatment of shingles.

Allergy drops are especially helpful for people who can’t tolerate, don’t respond to, or are not eligible for injection immunotherapy including infants and children, severe asthmatics, highly sensitive patients, patients with chronic conditions including sinusitis, patients with food or mold allergies, and patients with multiple allergies including dust, pollens, animals and chemicals.

Research shows that frequency of drops helps patients feel better faster. Taking their allergy drops three times a day keeps the immune system stimulated and helps patients become tolerant to what causes their allergies.

The advantages of allergy drops include fewer clinic visits, convenience of administration (at home or wherever you need to be), typically fewer medications required, and less time lost from work and school.

The World Health Organization has endorsed sublingual immunotherapy as a viable alternative to injection therapy. Additionally, the well-respected Cochrane Collaboration, the world’s most-trusted international organization dedicated to reviewing healthcare treatments, recently concluded allergy drop immunotherapy significantly reduced allergy symptoms and use of allergy medications.

Internationally, the use of sublingual immunotherapy is more common (50 percent in some European countries), with full regulatory and government backing.

The safety profile for sublingual immunotherapy is superior to injection based on research studies and patient treatment experience. Systemic reactions occur 3 times less with sublingual, and within the La Crosse Method Practice Protocol©, there has never been an anaphylactic reaction (life threatening) recorded within the 37 years of the La Crosse Method clinical experience.

More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies or roughly 20 percent of the population.

Allergies are the root cause of:

-80 percent of sinusitis – which affects 10 percent of the population

-70 percent of asthma – which affects 5-10 percent of the population

-80 percent of skin conditions (eczema, urticaria, hives) – which affects 2-5 percent of the population

Allergic rhinitis (hay fever) impacts 23 percent of the total cost of absenteeism and lost productivity (presenteeism) for employees and their employers.

According to the National Institutes of Health, allergies account for 2 million missed school days per year, and on any given day, more than 10,000 children are absent from school because of allergies.