Allergy Drops Shown to Be Effective Alternative to Shots, Studies Show

Do you suffer from allergies, but don’t want to go through the injections at the doctor’s office? A new scientific review shows allergy drops are an effective alternative, according to a report by

A review conducted by researchers at John Hopkins, looked at 63 published studies to confirm putting small amounts of purified grasses, ragweed, dust mites, pollen and mold, in liquid drops under the tongue is a safe and effective alternative to weekly injections of those allergens or the use of other medications, in treating symptoms of allergies and allergic asthma in some people, the report stated.

Results were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association online, and the report is believed to be the largest synopsis of its kind, reviewing previous research to compare various therapies designed to stop the wheezing, sneezing and runny nose that accompany allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and allergic asthma, according to researchers.

The 63 studies involved approximately 5,131 participants, almost all in Europe, where allergy drops, or so-called sublingual immunotherapy, have been widely available for nearly two decades. These therapies have not been approved for use by the US Food and Drug Administration, but physicians in the U.S. do use the drops “off-label” for some patients.

In eight of 13 studies evaluated, researchers found “strong evidence” drop therapy produced a 40 percent or greater reduction in coughing, wheezing, and tightness in the chest compared with other treatments, including inhaled steroids. In nine of 36 studies comparing allergy drops to other allergy treatments, including antihistamines and nasal steroid sprays, researchers found allergy drops produced a 40 percent or greater reduction in symptoms of runny nose, sneezing and nasal congestion.

“Our findings are clear evidence that sublingual immunotherapy in the form of allergy drops are an effective potential treatment option for millions of Americans suffering from allergic asthma and allergic rhinoconjunctivitis,” said senior study investigator Dr. Sandra Lin in the report, explaining allergy drops are more convenient because they can be used at home rather then going back and forth to the doctor’s office.