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Sublingual Immunotherapy

Medical Information:
Name: Professional service for the supervision of preparation and provision of antigen
CPT Code: 95165
Procedure Type:
Preparation:
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Allergy Drops

About the Treatment

Allergy drop treatment works similar to shots by delivering a increasing dose of physician-prescribed antigen that over time builds the bodies tolerance. The difference is that the drops are placed under the tongue and affect the immune system through very specialized cells found under the tongue. Research shows these cells are a friendlier and effective route for long-term tolerance, making it an ideal option for patients who are not candidates for shots. Most patients take allergy drops each day for three to five years.

allergies Child Safe

What are the advantages of Allergy drops?

Aside from the benefits of being able to treat more patients, including children, asthmatics and others who aren't able to tolerate shots, there are other advantages to allergy drops...

  • Lower cost, fewer clinic visits. Compared to shots, allergy drops cost less and require fewer clinic visits. Most patients receiving allergy drops need only a few clinic visits the first year, and once every 6-12 months thereafter until visits are no longer needed.
  • More convenient, fewer medications. You can take allergy drops at home or wherever you need to be, making it much easier to stick with treatment. And many patients find they need less medication to control symptoms after beginning allergy drops.
  • More healthy days. The end benefit is simply feeling better. Our patients typically report fewer clinic visits and hospitalizations, as well as less time lost from work and school, after taking their drops consistently.

The well-respected Cochrane Collaboration, the worlds most-trusted international organization dedicated to reviewing healthcare treatments, recently concluded allergy drop immunotherapy significantly reduced allergy symptoms and use of allergy medications.

The safety profile for sublingual immunotherapy is superior to injection based on research studies and patient treatment experience. Systemic reactions occur 3x less with sublingual, and there has never been and anaphylactic reaction (life threatening) recorded over the 30+ years of sublingual treatment.

Compliance has not been studied extensively. However, one large managed care organization did find 50-percent of patients receiving allergy shots dropped out of therapy during the first year. In looking at sublingual compliance among patients in many of the studies identified previously, approximately 90-percent of patients complete their treatment.

For more information regarding sublingual immunotherapy effectiveness and safety, visit www.paas.org for a complete listing of medical studies and papers.

Sublingual immunotherapy treatment is similar to injection therapy, with a few unique additions.

  • Testing & Evaluation. Our first step is to confirm which allergies are present and how severe they are. Patient history plays a large role here. In vitro (blood) testing for regional allergens will be used to identify food and inhalant allergies. This single blood test accurately details the scope and severity of the allergy.
  • Environmental Control. Once allergies are confirmed, we help patients find ways to avoid allergens by suggesting changes in diet and lifestyle when possible.
  • Pharmacology. To help reduce symptoms, you might be prescribed medications, such as non-sedating antihistamines and nose sprays. As treatment continues, most patients find their need for medication decreases.

Immunotherapy. Allergy drops, customized for the patients specific allergies, helps alter the disease state so that eventually, allergic reactions are no longer a problem. With allergy drops, patients are able to be treated at home. Your physician will monitor your progress throughout your care. Several antigens may be in one vial. Treatment regimens include:

  • Preseasonal treatment. This is a quick build up of antigen weeks prior to an "allergy season." Treatment continues during the season using a maintenance dose. Common treatments are for spring grasses, trees and ragweed.
  • Threshold dosing. Allergies to dust, molds and foods require an ongoing build up of antigen, followed by a maintenance or threshold dose schedule.

FAQ

What is sublingual immunotherapy?
Unlike most allergy drugs, which treat only symptoms, sublingual immunotherapy addresses the underlying causes of allergies. Allergy drops are administered in gradually increasing dosages until the patient develops a tolerance to the allergy-causing substance.

Who can benefit from allergy drops?
Although most people who suffer from allergies and related illnesses can benefit from allergy drops, many people aren't aware it's an option. For those whose allergies prevent them from living a full, productive life, allergy drops provide an effective, safe and cost effective option. Not only does this benefit patients who can't tolerate or don't respond to shots or other therapies, it provides tremendous benefits to employers and our entire healthcare system.

Are allergy drops safe and effective?
Allergy drops have been used around the world for more than 60 years, and many studies show that allergy drops are safe and effective. Dosing levels and the route of administration are safe enough to effectively treat infants, children, and people suffering from chronic conditions that previously made them unable to receive immunotherapy via shots.

What is an antigen?
An antigen is an allergy-causing substance. Examples include dust, pollen, mold, insect venom and specific foods such as fish, wheat, corn and eggs.

What kind of allergies can be treated with allergy drops?
The benefit of sublingual immunotherapy is that a broad range of allergies, including those caused by dust mites, pollen, mold, animals, foods and chemicals can be treated.

Is it safe and effective?
Sublingual immunotherapy has been used in various parts of the world for 60-plus years. More than 300 scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals prove that sublingual treatment is both safe and effective.

What are advantages of allergy drops?
Compared to traditional injection therapy, allergy drop treatment is more convenient, requires fewer clinic visits and costs less. Most importantly allergy drops are a safe, effective treatment for young children, asthmatics, the highly reactive and those with underlying medical conditions that prevent them from being candidates for injection therapy.

Will my medical insurance cover the costs?
Insurance companies may cover the cost of the office visit and diagnostic testing. However, because allergy drops are an off-label use, they are not covered by insurance. Most patients agree that the investment in allergy drops is well worth the lasting results and improvement in their quality of life.
Is the World Ready for Sublingual Immunotherapy?


Can my child be treated?
Yes! Children from infancy on up can be treated with allergy drops. Because sublingual therapies use carefully measured frequent doses to treat allergic conditions effectively, they are able to treat children early on enabling them to treat the root cause of the allergy before it develops into other related conditions.

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