News

Copyright © 2017 Natural Medicines (www.naturalmedicines.com)
March 2013

Immunotherapy for Allergies

According to new research, immunotherapy may be beneficial for individuals with allergies.

Rather than treating the symptoms of allergies, immunotherapy treats the immune system, which is responsible for an allergic reaction. An allergic reaction occurs when the body is exposed to an antigen (foreign substance like pollen, dust mites, mold and pet dander).

Immunotherapy exposes individuals to increasing amounts of a diluted allergen over several months. Theoretically, the individual will be desensitized over time, and allergy symptoms will be reduced.

The recent study included 207 children with allergies to grass pollen. The children were randomly assigned to receive placebo or grass pollen drops, from January through August. The drops were held under the tongue for three minutes and then swallowed.

Researchers observed allergy symptoms in the pollen season of that year. The children receiving the grass pollen drops had a significantly improved Symptom Medication Score (SMS), compared to the children receiving the placebo drops.

An improved SMS score indicated reduced allergy symptoms and lower consumption of allergy medication. Allergy symptoms in the SMS included eye irritation, sneezing or running nose and coughing or wheezing. The SMS also took into consideration the types and dosages of allergy medication.

For more information about integrative therapies for allergies, please visit Natural Standard's Comparative Effectiveness Database.

References

  1. Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine.
  2. Wahn U, Klimek L, Ploszczuk A et al. High-dose sublingual immunotherapy with single-dose aqueous grass pollen extract in children is effective and safe: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2012 Oct;130(4):886-93.e5. 

The information in this brief report is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions. Copyright © 2017 Natural Medicines Inc. Commercial distribution or reproduction prohibited. Natural Medicines is the leading provider of high-quality, evidence-based, clinically-relevant information on natural medicine, dietary supplements, herbs, vitamins, minerals, functional foods, diets, complementary practices, CAM modalities, exercises and medical conditions. Monograph sections include interactions with herbs, drugs, foods and labs, contraindications, depletions, dosing, toxicology, adverse effects, pregnancy and lactation data, synonyms, safety and effectiveness.