Which are more effective, allergy shots or allergy drops?

  • If we had to pick one- allergy shots can be more effective than allergy drops. As described above, it does depend on the allergies being treated. Based on our experience, about 30-40% of patients will respond equally well to allergy shots compared to allergy drops. Another 30-40% will still have a good response to the allergy drops but not quite as well as the allergy shots. Approximately 10-20% of patients will not have a significant response to allergy drops but will respond to allergy shots. The one exception, as mentioned, are those receiving allergy drops to dogs- in which about half do not have a significant response to the dog allergy drops. In contrast, almost all patients receiving allergy shots to dog dander respond to one degree or another.

We have included a link to the position paper released by the World Allergy Organization on sublingual immunotherapy. The organization is comprised of experts in the field of Allergy and Immunology throughout the world. I will also include some of the pertinent highlights from the position paper:

  • Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) has been shown to induce long-term remission after discontinuation and may prevent new sensitizations, features consistent with the induction of tolerance
  • Several large “definitive” trials have confirmed the efficacy and safety for allergies in both children and adults.
  • 77 randomized controlled trials with SLIT have sown clinical success in those with nasal and eye allergies, as well as asthma.
  • Some studies suggest that SLIT is as effective as allergy shots
  • SLIT has fewer complications than allergy shots and is better tolerated
  • The majority of SLIT reactions are local (itching of the mouth) that occur during the beginning of treatment and resolve within a few days or weeks of treatment
  • SLIT reduces the risk of asthma in children with nasal allergies