Why Under-the-Tongue Drops?
Sublingual immunotherapy is the regular administration of gradually increasing doses of allergens in the area under the tongue in order to create tolerance to allergens responsible for allergy symptoms.
The area under the tongue is referred to as the sublingual mucosa. This “privileged” area has special properties including the highest concentration of dendritic cells in the human body. The dendritic cell is the most powerful antigen/allergen presenting cell because it exposes allergens to T cells which can either induce tolerance or an allergic state. Manipulation of this cell is critical in the practice of immunotherapy as well as any other attempt to induce tolerance. The area under the tongue is unusually rich in dendritic cells and naive T cells ready to react.
Studies have shown that upon administration, allergen is retained under the tongue for at least 48 hours. This gives dendritic cells the opportunity to interact locally with naive T cells. Multiple dosing per day, however, is necessary to establish constant, uninterrupted exposure during treatment.