Three is the Key
Research and clinical experience show that smaller doses given more frequently can be more effective than higher doses given less frequently. These smaller doses reduce the risk of bad reactions from unnecessarily high doses. Taking drops three times throughout the day keeps the important dendritic cells under the tongue constantly stimulated without having to deliver unnecessarily high doses, so that peaks and troughs of antigen levels do not occur and reactions from higher doses are minimized.
Three also marks the phases we see for developing long-term tolerance. Sublingual immunotherapy allergy treatment using the La Crosse Method™ Protocol follows these phases:
Initial Oral Tolerance (0-3 months)
This starts with skin or blood testing for evaluation and subsequent custom dosing based on the results. We base dosing on testing so the lowest skin or blood test to evoke a response determines the dilution for the drops. Using this precise dose allows the body to adjust to treatment without creating negative reactions so allergy symptoms can improve.
Sometimes within this phase, there may be minor mouth itching/irritation that disappears as the sublingual immunotherapy treatment progresses and patients start to feel some symptom relief.
Initial Desensitization & Symptom Relief (3 months - 2 years)
Important to the long-term relief of allergy symptoms, the body starts with initial symptom relief making patients feel better while the body is increasing allergen tolerance.
Symptom relief is more pronounced in this phase due to increased internal tolerance.
People may feel tempted to stop treatment because they feel better, but don’t! By continuing treatment, the body learns long-term tolerance.
Symptom Reduction & Long-term Tolerance (2-5 years*)
Three times per day dosing continues as does symptom improvement, and the body continues to learn long-term tolerance.
Your physician continues to monitor and evaluate the allergic response with testing, adjusts dose based on response, and works toward maintenance when a consistent dose is tolerated and symptoms are no longer present. This varies by individual patient* based on allergy severity. For some, treatment can be discontinued, for others with more severe allergies, it may need to continue to achieve patient goals.
*Mold and food allergies typically require longer treatment duration.