Immunotherapy – SCIT vs. SLIT

February 23, 2017 |

You have completed allergy testing and your testing indicates that you do have allergies. You are considering the potential of pursuing treatment. You have tried nasal sprays and over the counter medications in the past without complete relief. Immunotherapy maybe an option for you. The two types of immunotherapy are subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT) or sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT).

Both forms of immunotherapy can be used effectively to treat environmental allergies. Consistent administration of immunotherapy is necessary to decrease allergy symptoms. Months of treatment will be necessary to

produce some reduction in symptoms and years of treatment will be required to obtain lasting relief. Both SCIT and SLIT have a risk of causing anaphylaxis. Possession of Epi-Pen is advised and if anaphylaxis occurs the administration of Epi-Pen would be recommended.

SCIT can also be termed as allergy injections and is therefore performed with medical observation. A typically SCIT treatment plan is a total of 3-5 years. The protocol involves weekly injections to reach maintenance dosing. Once on maintenance and symptom relief for at least the four seasons the tapering of injections will begin. The length of treatment and frequency of injections during the taper process is dependent on symptoms.

SLIT is administered under the tongue and is a viable alternative to allergy injections (SCIT). SLIT of all environmental allergens is not FDA approved, therefore is not readily covered by insurance. This means that treatment with SLIT would be completely an out of pocket cost. SLIT can be done at home without medical observation. SLIT is completed for a minimum of three years. If symptom relief has occurred for all four seasons after the 3 years, than SLIT can be discontinued

By getting your allergies under better control, you can halt the progression of the allergies, lessen the risk of developing secondary complications such as asthma and sinusitis, and most importantly, feel better.

If you have allergies and would like to further discuss treatment options, please contact our office today at (616) 994-2770 for an appointment.


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