Under the tongue hay fever medications

In Europe, under the tongue medications are used more frequently than the allergy shots. Patients like the idea of a painless way to receive their allergy immunity, but recent research may indicate that this alternative method may prove to be less effective at hay fever relief.

The Study

Italian researchers examined the data compiled from twenty five independent allergy studies. The researchers were interested in seeing what types of allergies the patients suffered from, the treatment that they tried, and the effectiveness of the treatment. In some cases, they were able to compare two or more treatment methods that had been used on the same allergy sufferer.

The Study Results

The study revealed that between the people who used the under the tongue medication, or sublingual immunotherapy treatment, and the people who took a placebo medication, there were very few differences in effectiveness. Almost as many people who took the placebo reported the treatment being effective as the people who took the actual under the tongue medicine.
A large number of people in the study that had seasonal type allergies, the itchy eyes, runny noses, and sneezing that accompany seasonal changes, and high pollen days, found great relief was gotten from taking antihistamines. Some found great relief from using nasal corticosteroids. The relief from these medications is usually temporary, lasting no more than a few hours.

What is the difference between allergy shots and over the counter medications?

The over the counter medications that people take for seasonal allergies are meant to relief the symptoms of the exposure to the allergen. They are short lasting remedies to control the symptoms. Allergy shots and under the tongue pills are designed to help the person develop an immunity to the allergen, so they have fewer outbreaks. These medications are meant to be preventive instead of a treatment for symptoms.

What this means for the future

This study does not mean that the under the tongue medicine will never work for anyone. It does not mean that doctors should not try to use it on their patients. It does mean that doctors should warn patients that the under the tongue medicine might not be as effective as the allergy shots.
Doctors should closely monitor their patients who are prescribed the under the tongue medications to determine if the medication is being effective, or if the patient will need to switch to the allergy shots.

Alternatives to under the tongue pills

The under the tongue medication is easier on the patient, and is often less costly than the allergy shots. When the under the tongue pills are not effective at relieving the allergy symptoms for a patient then the doctors can have drops formulated to target specific allergies.
Some doctors make the drops in their office laboratories and some of them send prescriptions to compounding pharmacies to have the drops made for the patient. If the under the tongue pills do not work for you ask your doctor if alternative drops could be your solution.