Shots were considered to be the only option when it comes to allergy treatments, but in the recent period, there are more and more people who rely on immunotherapy tablets in cases like this. The best part about these pills is the fact that they may be able to lower the intensity and frequency of asthma attacks.
A few days ago, researchers have revealed a report which claims that immunotherapy tablets specially designed for dust mite allergy lowered the chances of asthma attacks in individuals suffering from moderate and even from severe asthma. These interesting results were revealed in the journal of the AMA (American Medical Association)
It turns out that allergies are one of the main factors that contribute to the occurrence of asthma. To be more precise, allergy related to dust mites, small bugs that are found in almost every home is a typical allergic asthma starter.
The study included about 700 people suffering from asthma and they didn’t use inhaled corticosteroids. 50% of the people used a pill that consisted of dust mite allergen on a daily basis. They simply placed it right under their tongues and waited until it dissolved. It was shown that this special immunotherapy tablet drastically lowered the chances of experiencing moderate and severe asthma attack.
These sublingual immunotherapy tablets also known as SLIT, were used for the first time at least for treating asthma. According to Dr. J. Christian Virchow, an expert in the field of pulmonology and professor at the University of Rostock (Germany) and head of this study, this is the first scientific study that includes so many participants, but the results are promising. There were several studies focused on immunotherapy tablets, but they were not analyzing the effects of these tablets on asthma. These studies analyzed the effects on allergic rhinitis.
In case you didn’t know, allergy shots that work by injecting a small amount of allergen extract right under the skin have been used for many years as an asthma treatment and for treating eczema and allergies. However, this method was complicated and painful in some cases. That’s why both doctors and patients were excited to hear the news about the effects of immunotherapy tablets.
Two years ago, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) put Oralair on the list of approved drugs in cases of grass allergies. This was the first and only allergy immunotherapy tablet used under the tongue approved in the US. In addition, not long after this approval, the FDA also approved the use of KCUR, another sublingual tablet used in cases of grass allergies and NCBI which is a tablet used in cases of ragweed.
These tablets must be used on a daily basis for about three years and even when people no longer need them they still need to take preventive measures against symptoms of allergies and asthma. According to their creators, immunotherapy tablets are equally efficient as allergy shots, but the risk of anaphylactic shock when they are used is minimal. The relatively high risk of this potentially fatal reaction is the only reason why these shots are not given at home.
The good news is that none of the people who were part of the study experienced serious side effect. Only a small number of them have experienced mild side effects including itchy throat and swelling of the tongue and lips.
It is good to point out that these tablets designed against asthma have not been used by children. However, Dr. Virchow believes that this treatment will probably provide even better results in children. All the participants in the study were dealing with asthma for more than a decade, so it is logical to believe that a child that was diagnosed with asthma few months ago should respond better. Of course, Dr. Virchow says that a study focused on children must be conducted as soon as possible.
We should invest tin additional research is probably one of the most used phrases in the field of medicine, but the promising results from this study make this phrase more relevant. The majority of individuals suffering from allergies are allergic to several substances. The emergence of new sublingual immunotherapy tablets should be able to help patients dealing with different types of allergic reactions and asthma attacks.