Why offer Sublingual Immunotherapy to your patients?
Treating an allergy's underlying cause is the focus of sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT), as compared to over-the-counter and prescription drugs which provide temporary relief from symptoms.
One out of five Americans suffer from allergies. For some, allergies are simply a short lived nuisance; however for millions they are a life altering disease. The only treatment that reprograms the overreacting immune system is immunotherapy, which involves gradual delivery of the substances that trigger allergies to acclimate the body to the world around it.
Currently in the U.S., an estimated three million people receive allergy immunotherapy. Most of these patients are seen by allergists and are treated with injection immunotherapy.
In other parts of the world, physicians are expanding the use of immunotherapy by introducing allergens to the body through the dendritic cells lining the mouth (oral mucosa). This method is referred to as sublingual immunotherapy. Up to 75% of allergy sufferers in southern Europe use antigen drops under the tongue for their allergy treatment. According to a recent review of over 20 European studies, patients who received allergy drops experience a 42% reduction in allergy symptoms and a 43% reduction in medication use in less than three years.
Through its safety profile, SLIT allows patients who are not candidates for injection immunotherapy, including children, highly reactive patients, asthmatics, and those with food allergies, to receive the benefits of immunotherapy. In our estimation, if those who could benefit from SLIT were under treatment, the current three million patients in immunotherapy would grow to 10 to 15 million.
Broader application, increased safety, ease of use, higher compliance and lower costs are all advantages of sublingual immunotherapy.