What is the role of sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) in the treatment of allergic rhinitis (hay fever)?

Updated: Dec 26, 2018
  • Author: Javed Sheikh, MD; Chief Editor: Michael A Kaliner, MD  more...
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Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) is currently increasing in use, particularly in Europe. Differences between SLIT and subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT) need further study, including research on differences in efficacy, durability, and safety.

SLIT can produce significant clinical improvement in elderly patients with allergic rhinitis caused by house dust mites (HDMs), according to a study by Bozek et al. The report looked at a group of patients aged 60-75 years with allergic rhinitis, as well as allergies to Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus and D farinae. [66]

In 47 patients who underwent 3 years of SLIT, the total nasal symptom score fell by 44%, while in the 48 patients in the placebo group, the score dropped by just 6%. In addition, the total medication score for the SLIT patients fell by a maximum of 51%, while only an insignificant score decrease was seen in the placebo group. [66]  In addition, the house dust mite (HDM) SLIT decreases the risk of asthma exacerbation in adults with house dust mite allergy-related asthma. [67]

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