Clinical Study Affirms the use of Allergy Drops for Multiple Allergies
February 27, 2012
According to a study published in the February issue of the Journal of Allergy, individuals suffering from multiple environmental allergies reported significant improvement in the quality of their life after undergoing sublingual immunotherapy treatment for their allergens. Sublingual immunotherapy, commonly referred to as allergy drops, are administered under the tongue.
Physicians and Clinical Researchers at Allergy Associates of La Crosse tested individuals for the most common 15-30 allergens found in the Midwest including dust mite, weeds, trees, grasses and mold allergies. Skin test results for each patient were used to customize their sublingual immunotherapy prescription to match their allergies and dose. Following the La Crosse Method™ Protocol, patients began a daily treatment which was reviewed and adjusted in 90-day increments based on patient response. Treatment and symptom progress were evaluated for each patient using the Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire™, which has been used extensively throughout the world in a large number of clinical trials. New patients at Allergy Associates of La Crosse were asked to complete the questionnaire at their first appointment before the onset of sublingual immunotherapy treatment and at two subsequent follow-up visits at three- to six-month intervals.
While sneezing, itchy/watery eyes and congestion are commonly associated with allergies; those with severe and chronic allergies often times experience other quality of life challenges. The questionnaire looked at the individual’s ability to complete activities at work and home, to participate in social or outdoor activities, sleep habits, emotional aspects of a chronic illness as well as the physical eye and nasal symptoms. Statistically significant results were found in six of seven categories within just four months of treatment. Improvement was also reported in sleep, however it was just shy of reaching statistical significance.
Immunotherapy helps to treat the underlying allergic disease by helping one’s immune system build a tolerance to substances that cause allergic issues. The current standard of care for immunotherapy in the United States is by injection. “While injection immunotherapy is an effective treatment, many individuals are not willing to undergo the requirements needed or are viable candidates for this form of therapy including young children or individuals with asthma. Sublingual immunotherapy uses the same principles and FDA-approved antigens, but delivers them in an off-label manner. Many of our patients have been able to stick with the prescribed treatment duration based on the convenience alone,” said lead study investigator Mary S. Morris, MD.
The concept of sublingual immunotherapy is not new; researchers from around the globe have been investigating its use for decades. However, most research has been done using sublingual immunotherapy treatment for one allergen focusing on a one-size-fits-all approach rather than a custom-patient prescription as used in the quality of life study. On average, patients were treated for 15 environmental allergens.
“Our clinical study represents one step forward in the acceptance of this treatment approach. We hope other clinicians and researchers find value in our efforts and will help with further investigation of multi-antigen research so that more patients can benefit from sublingual immunotherapy in the future,” concluded Dr. Mary Morris.
Allergy Associates of La Crosse specializes in sublingual immunotherapy treatment commonly referred to as allergy drops. Allergy Associates of La Crosse was founded more than 40 years ago by Dr. David Morris. Since that time, he and his physician partners have treated more than 125,000 patients with a wide variety of allergic conditions using allergy drops administered under the tongue. The practice draws patients from throughout the U.S. who travel to La Crosse to benefit from protocols that have been refined into the La Crosse Method™ Practice Protocol. This patient-friendly approach is now being adopted around the country by hundreds of allergy specialists including leading medical universities, branches of the military and private practices throughout the U.S.