If you watched the news recently you may have heard about a new allergy pill that may “replace allergy shots” for treatment of severe allergic rhinitus. That’s when your immune system overreacts to substances you’ve inhaled, like pollen.
Back to the news clip. The clip that aired reported on a woman who had grass pollen, weed pollen, and dust mite allergy who was excited to start this pill as an alternative to allergy shots. The pill is called Oralair.
Here’s some important information to give you the whole story.
Oralair is the first FDA approved sublingual allergen extract to treat allergic rhinitis due to grass pollen allergy. However, what they did not explain well is that this is only for the treatment of certain grass pollen allergies. If you are only allergic to grasses then this has been shown to be effective in treating allergy syptoms during the grass pollen season which in San Antonio i sfrom May to June and August through September. This medication will not help for allergy to trees, weeds, dust, molds, or animal dander.
It is recommended to e taken four months before the start of grass pollen season and continued throughout the season.
The first dose must be administered in a doctor’s office and should be done in an office that is equipped to handle anaphylaxis (severe, life threatening allergic reactions). The patient needs to be observed for thirty minutes for potential adverse reactions, and, if Oralair is tolerated, then it can be taken at home.
Oralair is a mixture of pollen of five grasses: Kentucky Blue Grass, Orchard, Perennial Rye, Sweet Vernal, and Timothy. Why is this important to you? It does not cover our southern predominant grasses! (Johnson, Bahia, Bermuda grasses). More importantly, this will NOT help Mountain Cedar allergies
In a research study of Oralair involving approximately 2, 500 people, patients taking Oralair experienced a 16-30 percent reduction in symptoms and the need for medication. The reduction in symptoms seen with allergy shots after just one year are 60 to 80 percent. This improvement in reduction in symptoms on allergy shots is from all environmental allergens that you receive treatment for and not just grass pollen.
It is important to understand that severe allergic reactions (such as anaphylaxis) can occur with both allergy shots and Oralair.
So, as exciting as the news reports made this new drug sound, it is not a one-size-fits all miracle drug. It will not help all allergy sufferers. It is exciting knowing, however, that continued research in the field of allergy may bring us promising new treatments.
If you would like to discuss Oralair further or your allergy treatment, call me. It’s important to discuss your allergy and asthma concerns with a Board Certified Allergist/Immunologist. Seeing a specialist really does matter and my staff and I are always ready to help! You do not have to miserable during this spring South Texas allergy season.