Allergy Drop FAQs - Asthma & Allergy Physicians of Rhode Island

What kind of allergies can be treated with allergy drops?

Allergy sublingual immunotherapy can treat a broad range of allergies, including those caused by dust mites, pollen, mold, animals, foods and chemicals.

Who should take allergy drops?

Many allergy sufferers can benefit from allergy drops, especially those who cannot tolerate or do not respond well to allergy shots, as well as:

  • Infants & Children*
  • Asthmatics
  • Highly Sensitive People
  • Those with Chronic Conditions
  • People with Food and Mold Allergies
  • People with Multiple Allergies

*Allergy drops have confirmed to be successfully helpful for children with eczema and recurrent ear infections, which often have underlying allergic causes. Research shows that many children with untreated eczema and allergies often develop asthma and other chronic conditions later in life. Treating them early can have life-long benefits and may prevent the development of other allergies.

Are allergy drops safe?

Allergy drops have been used around the world for more than 60 years. Numerous studies validate both their safety and effectiveness. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) has endorsed this treatment as a viable alternative to injection therapy.

I’ve heard that allergy drops are not approved by the FDA. Is that safe?

Currently, antigens are labeled by the FDA for use through injections. Using them for sublingual immunotherapy is an off-label use of the FDA approved antigen. Most physicians prescribe off-label use of numerous drugs today, including: blood pressure medication for migraines and aspirin for heart conditions. It is important to understand that the antigens used in allergy drops are the same antigens used in allergy shots. They are also prepared in the same manner as allergy shots. The difference is in the way they are administered; a dispenser that delivers the antigen under the tongue versus a syringe that delivers the antigen via an injection into the tissue of your upper arm.

Why don’t more patients receive allergy drops if they are so effective?

The acceptance of allergy drops as an effective treatment is growing throughout the world. It is also beginning to grow in the United States as the treatment becomes more widely available. Most allergy sufferers are just not aware of this option.

What are the ingredients?

Just like allergy shots, each regimen is custom made for each patient according to the type and severity of their allergies, discovered through allergy testing. Drop prescriptions contain concentrates of the allergen the patient is allergic to. The antigens are put into a glycerin solution for stability. There are no additional preservatives added.

How long will I need to take my drops?

Most patients take allergy drops 3 times a day, each day for 3 to 5 years, but it can vary according to the severity of their allergies, seasonality and how compliant they are with treatment. Many patients begin to see symptoms improve within a few weeks to months.

How long can I expect the effects of allergy drops to last?

A benefit of immunotherapy, whether allergy shots or allergy drops, is that it can modify the course of allergic disease by treating the root cause, not just the symptoms. Once a tolerance is built it can be permanent for many patients. But even the best treatments will not work if you do not follow the treatment plan properly. As with allergy shot treatment, it is important to follow your allergy drop treatment until your doctor has determined that treatment can be discontinued, to give you the best chance of receiving long-term benefit.