Allergy Drops

March 2, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Allergies are so common in the valley. Chances are you or someone you know must take medicine to fight the sneezing and wheezing.For 23-year old Trish Moratto from Fresno, this is part of her regular routine.

Like many allergy sufferers in the valley she gets frequent check-ups to make sure her treatment is working.

Fresno allergy specialist, Dr. A.M. Aminian says because of our air, valley patients can find it tough to fight the symptoms.

"We do not have a good frost in this area, we do not have a snow in the valley so we have more growth of pollens and molds," says Dr. Aminian.

Many patients have to roll-up their sleeves to take regular allergy shots, but there's a painless option. It's called sublingual immunotherapy or allergy drops that deliver the drug right under the tongue.

The drops are not common here in the U.S. but have been used in Europe for 40 years. And the World Health Organization has approved them as an alternative to allergy injections.

But the drops aren't approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Doctors say the drops need to be studied more to find out if they can work with other allergy treatments and if patients will be able to follow dosing instructions, outside of a doctor's supervision.

"We think it's safe. We think it has a lot of potential benefits for the patients but we need to work out the concerns that we have," says Dr. Aminian.

But for patients like Trish, any option that does away with the needle and all these other treatments is worth waiting for. "It would be very convenient. I'm super busy and I think if I could just get up and take one of these allergy drops and it would help me along with my day. I would definitely do it."

The allergy drops are being used by some medical centers for research.

Insurance doesn't typically cover the cost which can run between $30 and $150 a month.


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