NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Good news for allergy sufferers: the relief provided by weekly allergy shots may soon be easier to come by.
As CBS 2’s Dr. Max Gomez reported, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is considering putting the allergy medicine into tablets. That would help allergy sufferers avoid the weekly appointments and the sometimes painful injections.
“They want their immune system fixed with natural therapies. But right now, all that I have available to them are shots,” allergist Dr. David Skoner said. “The need for something like this in the consumer market is high…you can do this therapy at home every day.”
The tablet contains grass pollen and dissolves under the tongue, Gomez reported.
Allergy sufferers would take the tablet daily for 12 weeks before grass pollen season and for 6 to 8 weeks during the season, or for up to three years straight.
It works by retraining the immune system to not react so strongly to pollen in what’s called immune tolerance.
But like allergy shots, there is a chance for some adverse reactions.
“About 30 percent of people that put one of these tablets under their tongue will have itching, maybe a little minor swelling,” Dr. Skoner said.
The studies are showing the tablets work well and are safe, so an FDA advisory panel is recommending approval.
The FDA usually follows its expert panel recommendations, which means that approval could come in the next several weeks — just in time for spring allergy season.
If the grass pills work out well, there could be tablets for other types of allergies.
The tablets would be available by prescription only if they’re approved by the FDA.
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