New allergy tablets offer alternative to shots - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

New allergy tablets offer alternative to shots

Amarillo, TX - Some seasonal allergy sufferers now have another option to ease their misery.  

For decades seasonal allergy sufferers had limited options: either swallow pills or squirt nasal sprays every day or they could get allergy shots for years to gradually reduce their immune's system over reaction.

Now patients can try another type of therapy, allergy tablets.

The grass allergy tablet and the ragweed pollen allergy tablet are both an alternative to train the immune system to steadily raise tolerance to grass or ragweed pollen much like an allergy shot.

"They can take it with nasal sprays and they can take it with other allergy pills. The indication though, however is patients who have pure allergy to these items," says Dr. Constintine Saadeh, MD.

Patients would still have to go through a skin test or blood test to be eligible to take these tablets.

Doctors say the tablets are most effective when the patient starts taking them daily, four months before allergy season begins.  

So lets say the patient is allergic to ragweed, the season starts around August, so the patient would need to start taking the tablet in March all the way until the allergy season is over.

The tablets dissolve on the tongue which could lead to some side effects. "Because sometimes, a bad taste in the mouth, and about 30-40 percent of the patients, usually it doesn't last very long. It can cause swelling of the tongue and it is not indicated for patients that have allergic asthma," says Dr. Saadeh.

Clinical trials show up to a 60%  improvement in the nasal system which include: watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing and itching.

If the patient is allergic to more than grass and ragweed, it is still OK to take the allergy shot or over the counter allergy pills and nasal spray.  

And if the patient is allergic to both grass and ragweed pollen, doctors say you can take both tablets.  

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