Immunotherapy is a form of treatment to reduce your allergic reactions to "Allergens". Allergens are substances to which you are allergic.
Allergens include grass, weeds, plants, animal dander, dust mites, stinging insects, cockroaches, trees, bushes, mold, as well as some foods.
There are two types of Immunotherapy.
Shot Therapy (subcutaneous injections-SCIT)
Drop Therapy (sublingual drops-SLIT)
Both can markedly diminish symptoms of allergic rhinitis, sinusitis, and allergic asthma.
Risks of Immunotherapy
Anaphylaxis is the most serious risk. The chance of a serious reaction is very rare, but more common in injection therapy.
Emergency medications and safeguards for serious reactions must be in place and available at all times.
The length of treatment for both SCIT and SLIT is 3-5 years to safely modify your immune response away from allergy.
Subcutaneous Immune Therapy (SCIT) is effective against all types of allergens except foods. This therapy consists of weekly injections with a mixture of your personal allergens.
We begin with a weak solution of your allergens and increase the strength over time (escalation) to a target level. Shots will be given weekly in our office during the escalation phase of
When target level is reached, shots may be administered at our office, at your doctors office or by you at home if proper training and safeguards are in place.
Patients must wait 20 minutes in the office after an injection. Most serious reactions occur within this time frame.
Minor reactions include swelling at the site, itching or redness.
Sublingual Immune Therapy (SLIT) has been shown to be effective against all types of allergens and some food allergens. It is a relatively new form of allergy therapy in the U.S.
SLIT has been used in Europe and elsewhere for decades, safely and effectively in both children and adults.
Concentrated allergen doses placed under the tongue cause the immune system to shut down allergic reactions all over the body.
Drops are placed under the tongue once daily, kept there for two minutes, then swallowed.
Beginning with a weak solution of your specific allergens, SLIT escalation to target dosing takes about three weeks. Drops are taken at home, even during this phase.
Allergy drops have a sweet taste.
Occasionally patients may experience mild tingling or itching in the mouth.
The immunotherapy and emergency medication can travel with you. Ask our staff for travel forms if needed.
Currently drops available in the U.S. have not yet been investigated by the FDA for sublingual use. The drop therapy vials are made using the same antigens used for shot therapy. Both the AAOA and the AAAIA have approved sublingual drops for immunotherapy.
Your Allergy Treatment Plan
The allergy team at the ENT and Allergy Center will work with you to set up the best treatment plan for you. Once the plan is in place, you will meet with one of our highly trained Allergy Nurses to learn the proper dosage and application for drops or to receive your initial shot therapy at the ENT and Allergy Center.