Allergy Drops vs Allergy Shots
- Posted on: Apr 5 2018
Many people are familiar with allergy shot therapy. Allergy drop therapy, however, has just recently received some buzz. Unfortunately, there seems to be a mixed message on how well they work and which therapy is better. Allergy drop therapy works by the same mechanism as allergy shots. They both stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies to block your allergy. Special immune stimulating cells present under the tongue and in the subcutaneous tissue, are present to stimulate this antibody production. That is why drops and shots can both be effective. Most of the world besides the United States has shifted to allergy drops rather than allergy shots for many reasons:
There is now a large amount of scientific research to demonstrate that when allergy drops are well formulated they are equally effective to allergy shots. The American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy (AAOA) fully supports the use of allergy drop therapy in place of allergy shot therapy.
There is a small but significant risk of anaphylactic reactions to allergy shots. Although this risk is also present with allergy drops, the risk is dramatically less. That is why allergy drops can be used at home safely.
Allergy shots require a trip to the doctor once or twice a week with lost work or school time. Allergy drops are taken at home once a day.
The allergy shot hurts and can cause significant local swelling for hours. This is especially true as the strength of the shot increases. Allergy drops are painless and sweet.
Time to benefit
Allergy shots can take up to 2 years to reach full strength therapy. This means that it may take a year to see benefit. Allergy drops are typically up to full dose in two weeks. Many patients will see symptom improvement by 3 months.
Being consistent with the therapy is critical to success. Patients find it much easier to stick to using the drops than driving to the doctor for shot therapy. Vacations, work, etc don’t get in the way with allergy drop therapy.
Local Allergic Rhinitis (LAR)
Allergy shots can only contain what is positive on skin testing. Many people have LAR, meaning they have allergy isolated to the nose that won’t show on skin testing. That means they have missing ingredients in their shots. Allergy drops can include those LAR allergens for more complete therapy
Many people don’t consider allergy drops because it isn’t FDA approved and many insurances do not cover it. Although allergy shots are FDA approved and covered by insurance, there is typically a copay with each shot. Once or twice weekly shots really start to add up to a significant cost. Allergy drop therapy in our office is usually much less expensive than paying the copay with each shot. Not to mention the savings on time out of work and gas to drive to the doctor. As most patients can usually be off of allergy medication by 6 months in to drop therapy there is also a savings on medication cost. Lastly, most patients can go off allergy drops in 36 months with lasting benefit so the cost is for a limited time and the benefit can last a lifetime.
Schedule A Consultation
If you suffer from allergies and have wondered if allergy drops could work for you come see Dr. Slaughter to discuss this helpful therapy. Call (512) 601-0303 to schedule a consultation with Sinus & Snoring Specialists in Austin, TX.