If you decided to read this article, you’re probably one of those who suffer from some kind of allergy. You might be familiar with the common allergy treatment options like antihistamines, nasal sprays, allergy shots, etc. However, allergy tablets are a lesser-known treatment option that might offer long-term relief for people with certain allergies.
1. How do allergy tablets work?
Allergy tablets are pills that come in a form of sublingual (under the tongue) allergy immunotherapy. Allergy immunotherapy is a way to “adjust” the immune system so that it does not react the same way to your allergens.
Your Immune system reacts to allergens by creating Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. These antibodies release certain chemicals that cause symptoms of an allergy, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology (AAAAI).
The common symptoms include:
Nasal congestion or runniness
Eye irritation, and hives
People who have food allergy might develop anaphylaxis (a potentially dangerous reaction that causes trouble breathing) if they eat a product they’re allergic to.
So, what’s the difference between allergy tablets and other treatment options? Since allergy tablets use small amounts of allergen proteins, they change the reaction of your immune system to a particular allergen. Over time it no longer overreacts when exposed to the allergen.
Antihistamines are medications that can only eliminate your symptoms temporarily. They will reappear once the drug wears off.
2. Who needs allergy tablets?
Having certain allergies and being in the right age range are weighty reasons to start taking allergy tablets. If you’ve tried lots of common allergy treatments but are still having unbearable symptoms like impaired sleep, daytime fatigue, frequent lung and sinus infections, and turbinate hypertrophy, you may also need allergy tablets.
You can start taking daily allergy tablets at any time of the year. Tablets for people who are allergic to grass and ragweed need to be taken daily. For the best results, tablets need to be taken three to four months before the allergy season begins.
Allergy tablets don’t work immediately. By complying with an adequate intake regimen, you can get long-lasting relief after around three to five years, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI).
There is no guarantee that allergy tablets will cure your allergies, but they can help relieve and even eliminate some symptoms.
3. Allergy tablets or allergy shots: what to choose?
Allergy shots can help treat a wider range of allergies than allergy tablets. Shots can be effective for grass, ragweed, dust mites, animal dander, mold, and insect venom. Plus, allergy shots can be specifically designed to manage multiple allergies at the same time. If you have a few allergies, allergy tablets will desensitize only to one allergen.
Allergy tablets are more expensive than allergy shots, but it might be easier to fit them your lifestyle than allergy shots. Allergy tablets can be taken at your discretion, and you don’t need to visit your allergist at least once a week, as it’s needed if you’re on allergy shots.
Another advantage of allergy tablets is that they come with fewer side effects compared with allergy shots. That’s because allergy shots are injected into the body which makes them enter your system more easily and quickly.
Talk to your allergist to determine which type of immunotherapy is the best for you. Before starting any treatment it’s important to figure out what you’re allergic to. If you are not a candidate for allergy immunotherapy, you can still receive effective treatment. Talk to your healthcare provider about which non-immunotherapy allergy medications will help you fight your symptoms.