Allergy Drops (Sublingual Immunotherapy or SLIT)
by Dr. Christopher Chang, last modified on
We are an ENT allergy practice and as such, deal only with problems above the shoulders which excludes the lungs and asthma.
Fauquier ENT Consultants of Warrenton, VA is one of only a few practices in the Northern Virginia/DC region that provides allergy drops. Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT), also known as allergy drops (no shots or injections), has been used in the U.S. for more than 35 years, with research dating back 40 years. Its use dates approximately 100 years in some parts of the world. Yet many allergy sufferers have heard little about this treatment option. Thanks to an increase in European research over the past decade and tremendous growth in the use of allergy drops worldwide, we now have valid scientific evidence that corroborates what many have known for decades—allergy drops are both safe and effective. So safe that any patients who have experienced anaphylaxis with allergy shots may undergo treatment with allergy drops. Sublingual immunotherapy will likely prove to be one of the most important innovations in allergy treatment in the past century. Allergy Drop.
Until allergy drops are more widely available in the U.S. and more resources are dedicated to educating providers and patients about allergy drops, it’s important to understand the facts about this treatment to help you determine whether it’s the right course of treatment for you. Fauquier ENT is one of only a half-dozen locations in the entire Northern Virginia/Washington DC region where this mode of treatment is offered.
Allergy drops are administered under the tongue daily three times a day as shown in the picture below. The drops themselves have a sweet minty taste much akin to dilute honey.
Please note that at this time, allergy drops are NOT covered by health insurance carriers. The use of allergy drops is an emerging treatment in the United States. A specific billing/reimbursement code has not yet been established. As such, treatment with allergy drops will be an out-of-pocket expense. Also note that we do not treat patients with symptommatic asthma (daily inhaler use). We are an ENT allergy practice and as such, deal only with problems above the shoulders which excludes the lungs and asthma.
Lastly, given that allergy drops need to be ordered at our expense, our office requires prepayment before making a new vial which lasts 2-3 months. This will be a recurring expense. Treatment typically lasts for 3-5+ years. The current cost per vial can be found here.
Other frequently asked questions about allergy drops can be found here.
A summary table comparing allergy shots to allergy drops can be found here.
The agreement form you will be asked to sign before your first vial is ordered.
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