Allergy drops (sublingual immunotherapy, or SLIT) and allergy shots (subcutaneous immunotherapy, or SCIT) are both innovative options for treating allergic rhinitis that hasn’t responded well to over-the-counter or conventional prescription medications.
Allergy drops and shots are both forms of allergen immunotherapy. They involve exposing a patient to very small amounts of the substances that cause their allergy symptoms in an effort to build up an immune response against the allergen without causing a full-blown reaction.
Patients opt for allergy drops or shots for various reasons. The six main areas of comparison include:
Method of Delivery
Allergy drops are given under the tongue via liquid or dissolvable tablets.
Allergy shots are injected underneath the skin using a small needle.
Both allergy shots and drops are mixed right in the allergist’s office using the patient’s very own allergy profile, making them personalized to each patient’s exact needs. Sublingual tablets, used for SLIT, are only available for select allergens. They are made of a standardized formula in which every patient gets the same combination and amount of allergen exposure.
Depending on the number of allergens needed in your treatment, shots or drops may be preferred. Your allergist can make this determination. In general, shots can treat more allergies at once than drops or sublingual tablets.
Allergy shots must always be administered in a doctor’s office under the supervision of a trained medical professional.
Allergy drops require much less time with your doctor. After you successfully take the first dose in your doctor’s office without any adverse effects, you may take future doses in the comfort of your own home, with no office visits required.
Similar results have been noted with both allergy drops and shots. Once tolerance to the allergen is achieved, the results from the drops or shots can be prolonged.
While both allergy drops and allergy shots are considered to be safe, there has been a lower incidence of side effects in patients using drops or SLIT versus shots.
Living an allergy-free life might be priceless in theory, but in the real world, we still need to think about how the cost of allergy treatments will be paid. Since allergy shots are tried-and-true, most insurance companies have no problem covering their cost. Allergy drops, on the other hand, are newer and may not be covered by insurance. Only certain sublingual tablets for SLIT are currently FDA-approved. These are filled at a pharmacy, like other medications, and the cost can vary.
Allergy Drops and Shots in Tampa
Here at Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology Associates of Tampa Bay, we offer both allergy drops and shots to help our patients overcome seasonal allergies. Call us at (813) 971-9743 or request an appointment online to find out how we can help you conquer your allergies with a safe and effective treatment plan personalized to your needs and budget today!