SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2016

Liquid allergy drops could replace allergy shots

Liquid allergy drops that work like a vaccine to slowly increase the body's tolerance to an allergen could soon replace weekly allergy shots.

Small drops of purified allergens, like dust mites or pollen, are put under a patient's tongue. The process is not yet FDA approved, but evidence published this week by the Journal of the American Medical Association could be paving the way, ScienceWorldReport.com reports.

"There is a tremendous interest in this treatment," Dr. Clifford Bassett, the medical director of the Allergy and Asthma Care of New York, said, according to ScienceWorldReport.com. "As such there have been and are currently clinical trials underway by various companies looking to try to get an approval and come to the U.S. market in the years ahead."

The effectiveness of the drops was analyzed in multiple studies, with researchers determining that asthma symptoms were improved by the drops. Eight of 13 studies found an improvement of more than 40 percent and moderate evidence was found of the drops decreasing allergic rhinitis.

Sixteen of 41 studies also found that allergy medication use decreased significantly among participants taking the drops, ScienceWorldReport.com reports.

As many as 40 percent of Americans suffer from allergic rhinitis or allergic asthma. Patients are currently given allergen immunotherapy through skin injections. Allergy drops, however, could be a more convenient method.