Individuals with allergies to grass, ragweed and/or dust mites may benefit from sublingual allergy tablets available by prescription from an allergist.
Sublingual allergy tablets have been used in Europe for several years. In recent years they were made available in the United States. For some patients, sublingual allergy tablets are an effective alternative to allergy shots.
According to Dr. Reynold Karr, an allergy and immunology specialist at the University of Washington Medical Center, the treatment involves placing an allergen tablet, such as one consisting of purified grass pollen, under the tongue each day at home.
“The tablet dissolves in seconds and the risk of a severe allergic reaction is very small,” Dr. Karr said.
When to Begin Sublingual Allergy Tablet Treatment
For grass and ragweed allergies, treatment is seasonal and should be started 12 weeks before your particular pollen season begins. Timing is critical, so it’s important to see your allergist at least four months before your allergy season begins. Allergy testing to confirm your sensitivities may be performed. Your doctor will direct you on when to begin taking your treatment based on your community’s pollen count history.
Sublingual treatment for dust mites is year-round.
Successfully Using Sublingual Allergy Tablets
When using sublingual immunotherapy for allergies, it’s important to place the tablet underneath your tongue and allow it to dissolve completely. Why? If you simply swallow the pill, the purified pollen will be destroyed by the digestion process. In placing the tablet underneath your tongue, the immunotherapy is distributed directly into your sublingual vein located in the floor of your mouth.
There are pros and cons to using sublingual immunotherapy to treat allergies. Side effects among children and adults are usually local and mild. Your allergist will guide you in your treatment plan.
Do you experience grass allergies (also known as hay fever)? Learn how you can donate your antibody-rich plasma to support allergy diagnostics and research.
RaeJean Hasenoehrl, Writing and Marketing Specialist
I am the Outreach Coordinator at PlasmaLab International in Everett. I am also a freelance writer and novelist, wife and mom and grandma, gardener and hay fever hater. Genetically speaking, mom and dad passed their allergies on to me, and I passed them on to my children. I’m sure our grandkids will be riddled with allergies, too. (Sorry, kiddos.) Our family should own stock in the Kleenex company. Just sayin’.