As spring has arrived in the Triangle, we thought that sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) would be a timely topic for our second blog post. As opposed to allergy shots, SLIT consists of allergy drops placed under the tongue. SLIT has been popular in Europe for years and is becoming increasingly popular in the United States. SLIT has an excellent safety profile so patients can do the treatment at home. The advantage for needle phobic patients is obvious.
While SLIT is an attractive option for some patients, there are also some disadvantages. SLIT is not yet FDA approved in the United States and most insurance companies consider SLIT an alternative treatment for allergies and asthma. Patients are responsible for the cost of the serum. Optimal dosing in SLIT is an area of controversy. At Raleigh ENT, we follow dosing protocols advocated by the American Academy of Otolargngic Allergy. Finally, while many studies show that SLIT is an effective treatment, there is still some question whether SLIT is equally as effective as allergy shots.
At Raleigh Ear, Nose, and Throat we offer allergy testing and treatment that ranges from medical treatment to immunotherapy (SLIT or allergy shots). We feel that SLIT is a nice option for some of our allergy patients.