Sublingual Immunotherapy - What is SLIT?

Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT) is a treatment for allergies that is effective, less dangerous, and more convenient than Subcutaneous or “allergy shots.” Sublingual Immunotherapy drops are administered under the tongue in gradually increasing dosages until the patient develops a tolerance to the allergy-causing substance. Sublingual Immunotherapy addresses the underlying cause of allergies, unlike most allergy treatments which only treat the symptoms.

One of the many benefits of sublingual immunotherapy is that it can treat a wide range of allergies, including pet dander, dust, pollen, foods, molds and seasonal allergies.

TREAT THE CAUSE

For many, medications alone is not enough. Immunotherapy treats the cause of allergies by giving small doses of what a person is allergic to, which increases “immunity” or tolerance to allergens and reduces or eliminates the allergic symptoms. Medications treat the allergy symptoms and do not address the cause.  Unlike SCIT (Subcutaneous Immunotherapy), which is known as “allergy shots,” SLIT is given as drops under the tongue.

IS SLIT SAFE & EFFECTIVE?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions about SLIT.  YES, it is very safe for both children and adults. Patients take the drops in the convenience of their own home instead of going to the doctor’s office every week for allergy shots. The World Health Organization (WHO) has endorsed Sublingual Immunotherapy as a viable and safer alternative to Injection Immunotherapy. Side effects are minimal and there have not been any fatalities or really serious reactions from this type of treatment.

HOW DOES SLIT WORK?

The first step is to confirm a patient’s allergies through allergy testing. Then, a mixed vial of drops is prepared for the patient. The patient takes the drops under the tongue daily. During the first four weeks, called the “starter phase,” the dosage is gradually increased. The same is true for the “tolerance phase” and the “immunity phase.” In the last phase, the “maintenance phase,” the patient takes the same dose of drops each day.

WHAT IS THE COST OF SLIT?

Most insurance plans do not cover Sublingual Immunotherapy. Our pharmacy partner works to keep costs low, at just $68.95 per month. It is important to note that, when compared with the cost of allergy shots, Sublingual Immunotherapy is a much more economical choice. The cost of SLIT is cheaper than the cost for frequent visits to the doctor’s office for allergy injections, lost wages for missing work, and the cost of travel to and from.

Why Choose SLIT over SCIT?

no needle-01The main advantage to sublingual immunotherapy as opposed to Subcutaneous or “allergy shots” is there are no needles, no injections, no shots! In addition, there is much less risk of systemic anaphylactic reaction, so sublingual immunotherapy can be administered at home. This makes SLIT more convenient than allergy shots which have to be administered in a doctor’s office costing the patient time, money, and risk. Most importantly allergy drops are a safe effective treatment for young children, asthmatics, the highly reactive, and those with underlying medical conditions that prevent them from being candidates for injection therapy. It is extremely rare to have serious reactions such as anaphylaxis, which is swelling of the throat, from SLIT. One of the problems with allergy shots is that when patients are sick there advised not to take an allergy injection since there’s a higher chance of developing an adverse reaction when ill. If patients are unable to do their allergy shots on a regular basis, whether it’s from illness, vacation times, or being too busy to come in, their progress is hindered. With SLIT, patients typically do not fall behind on their progress.