Sep 29, 2021
Everything You Need To Know About Sublingual Immunotherapy
5 minute read
The immune system is really an amazing thing. It’s your body’s defense system from foreign invaders like deadly viruses and harmful bacteria. It can do all of that -- yet stepping outside in the spring and summer is enough to send it into overdrive.
If you’ve got the sneezes and the wheezes from pollen, ragweed, or pesky dust mites, you already know how inundating it can be for your daily life. And while allergy relief supplements can reduce the symptoms, they don’t actually stop the underlying cause.
Sublingual immunotherapy is a clinically proven method for reducing the actual causes of allergies rather than just treating the symptoms. For those with persistent allergies, it’s a way to finally end them once and for all.
You’ve probably never even heard of such a thing before, and that’s because it’s a fairly new science. But don’t worry, we’ve got all the information you need to know right here. So wipe the tears out of your itchy allergy eyes one last time so you can clearly see everything about sublingual immunotherapy.
What Does It All Mean?
Sublingual immunotherapy is a multi-syllable phrase that refers to a new form of allergy relief. It’s a real tongue twister, so we just like to call it SLIT for short.
The word “sublingual” means situated or applied under the tongue, which is how you take these medications. “Immunotherapy” is the prevention or treatment of illnesses that stimulate the immune response, such as allergies.
Put it all together, and you get an under-tongue medication that prevents and treats allergies! It sounds like magic, but it’s nothing more than clinically proven science.
How Does Sublingual Immunotherapy Work?
SLIT is a form of allergy immunotherapy, which has a less fun acronym (AIT). Allergy immunotherapy (AIT) is a medical treatment that uses natural allergen substances, like pollen from trees or pet dander from animals.
Allergies happen when your immune system perceives a foreign substance as harmful, even if it isn’t. It then releases a hormone called histamines to go out and shoo them away. However, that’s what leads to sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, and tickly throat.
AIT tackles this problem by slowly exposing your immune system to common allergens so it can gradually build up a defense against it. This way, your body will become more accustomed to being exposed, and your immune system won’t overreact to those annoying allergy symptoms.
SLIT isn’t the only type of AIT available. You may have heard about allergy drops as another long-term treatment for allergies. This method isn’t FDA-approved (we’ll talk more about this later on).
Benefits of Sublingual Immunotherapy
SLIT might be a relatively new science, but that doesn’t mean it’s not amazing. The benefits of sublingual immunotherapy to fight against common allergens are never-ending.
Allergy relief medications are great for bringing quick relief to the symptoms that allergies can bring on. But they don’t build up your immune response to help lessen the symptoms overall.
SLIT is a long-term treatment that builds up your body’s tolerance to dust mites, ragweed pollen, or grass pollen, making your symptoms less severe in situations where they might otherwise take you out. In fact, SLIT reduces symptoms by an average of 27.6% and medication use by 46.1%. You might never even need to take allergy pills, or eye drops ever again.
Do It All From Home
SLIT isn’t an over-the-counter treatment like your Claritin and Zyrtec. This means you need a doctor’s approval before you can start using it.
While you used to go to the doctor’s office in person to get a prescription, you can now do everything right from home. All you need to do is fill out your free consultation form before getting paired with an allergist who can help with all of your allergy needs remotely.
Allergy symptoms can be frustrating, annoying, depressing, and everything in between. But SLIT can make you feel like yourself again.
A robust clinical study involving thousands of patients revealed that allergy immunotherapy had profound effects on the population. Those receiving treatment reported:
- 78% improved productivity at work or school.
- 77% improved sleep.
- 90% improvement in general health status.
- 83% improved daily energy.
That’s a lot of great stuff from a tiny little dissolving tablet! SLIT has the power to bring you benefits to your daily life outside of just reducing allergy symptoms.
Is Sublingual Immunotherapy Safe?
Surely something that works this good has to have a catch, right? Not really. Sublingual immunotherapy tablets are the only form of allergy immunotherapy that the FDA approves.
Most clinical trials published over the last 20 years have shown SLIT to be safe and effective for the treatment of rhinitis, or stuffy nose, caused by allergens. Emerging evidence also indicates that it works well for reducing itchy and red eyes during allergy season.
As with any medication, side effects are possible. However, they are usually very mild and don’t persist past the early stages of treatment. Some people feel an itchy mouth or have some stomach problems.
Although it’s very rare, severe allergic reactions to SLIT have been reported. This is the main reason why this form of treatment requires a prescription from a doctor, as we want to make sure you’re safe to use it.
How To Take Sublingual Immunotherapy Tablets
Ditching your allergy symptoms with SLIT might be even easier than contracting the symptoms in the first place. That means it’s really simple. Here’s what you’ll need to do:
- The tablets will come in little blister packs. Pop one out with dry hands and take it immediately.
- Place the tablet under your tongue. It’ll dissolve quickly, so try not to swallow for one minute.
- Wash your hands.
That’s all there is to it! All it takes is one minute of your day, so you can spend the other 1439 doing whatever else makes you happy.
A final note -- try not to eat or drink for five minutes after taking your SLIT tablets. Also, don’t take the tablet with food or water; it will just dissolve on its own without any help.
Who Is Sublingual Immunotherapy For?
SLIT is undoubtedly effective for reducing allergy symptoms and enhancing your life quality. However, at this time, there aren’t tablets available for every type of allergen out there.
As of now, you can use SLIT if you have allergies to grass pollen, ragweed, or dust mites. These are among some of the most common allergies, so we hope you can use them to find some relief.
You may have other options if SLIT doesn’t apply to the allergens you’re most affected by. You can take an allergy test right from home to test for 40 common environmental allergens and speak with an allergist to find a treatment plan that works for you.
In case you’ve still got a few pending questions about the ins and outs of sublingual immunotherapy, we’re geared up to try to answer some.<h3>Can I Still Take Allergy Relief Meds While Taking SLIT?</h3> SLIT is meant to reduce your symptoms, but you might find some days are a bit more pollen and dust-filled than others. So if you need some instant relief, you can still take some [allergy relief medication](https://getcleared.com/shop#category/relief-medications) even while you’re using SLIT.
Your allergist will let you know if they think differently.
Is SLIT Expensive?
Price can be a major barrier between you and allergy relief. But the good news just keeps getting better because SLIT is as low as $25 a month with insurance when you buy through Cleared. We’re on a mission to improve access, convenience, and affordability of allergy medications like SLIT so that more people can stop sniffling and start living. Click here to learn more.
Clearing the Air
Sublingual immunotherapy, or SLIT, is a science-backed, FDA-approved method for reducing the underlying causes of allergies rather than just fixing the symptoms. It’s a great way to get long-term relief from dust mites, grass pollen, or ragweed.
Thanks to tremendous technological advancements, it’s safe, effective, and can all be done right from home. Not to mention, it’s inexpensive and doesn’t deter you from using your other favorite allergy relief medications.
At Cleared, we pride ourselves on offering the highest quality allergy care without ridiculous prices. We’ve cut the bullSLIT so you can finally have access to the symptom-free life that you deserve. Click here to take the free allergy quiz and see how we can make a difference.
Reviewed by Dr. Payel Gupta
Allergies - Symptoms and causes | The Mayo Clinic
Efficacy and safety of 5-grass pollen sublingual immunotherapy tablets in patients with different clinical profiles of allergic rhinoconjunctivitis | NCBI
Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT) | ACAAI
Sublingual Immunotherapy | Hopkins Medicine
Mechanisms of allergen-specific immunotherapy for allergic rhinitis and food allergies | NCBI
Flu vs. Allergies: What's the Difference?
5 minute read
Why Do I Cough After I Eat?
5 minute read
Why Is My Tongue Swollen?
6 minute read
Why Does My Throat Feel Dry?
6 minute read
Healthy habits start here
Sign up to receive exclusive offers and ongoing advice