Sublingual Immunotherapy for Allergies (SLIT)
Noble’s approach to effective allergy treatment.
The holistic approach to allergy therapy
At Noble we believe in supporting patients with their symptom relief while at the same time considering the cause of their condition. In environmental allergy we offer skin scratch allergy testing, supplementation for symptom management, prescription medications when necessary and sublingual immunotherapy as our desensitization theraputic.
What is Sublingual Immunotherapy?
Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT) is an effective, non-invasive therapy for environmental and seasonal allergies. It is well researched and widely accepted.
In SLIT, following an allergy test, the Naturopathic Doctor is able to prescribe a patient very small doses of an allergen for the purpose of gently and safely desensitizing the immune system to that substance. Over time tolerance to the allergen is heightened and symptoms are reduced.
Most often the result of this therapy is easing of allergic symptoms early in the treatment and a prolonged reduction in allergy with long-term treatment (can lead to reduction even after discontinuation of SLIT). Basically the longer the therapy is continued the more prevention from allergy obtained following discontinuation.
How do I begin Sublingual Immunotherapy?
In order to being SLIT environmental and seasonal allergies must be tested by your Naturopathic Doctor at Noble. This can be done in-office.
Following the test an allergen extract is prepared as liquid drops using the compounding facility Quantum Allergy.
The drops are provided to the patient for at-home use. The patient follows the dosing schedule given by the Naturopathic Doctor which includes daily drops under the tongue. The therapy is continued for three to five years to
develop a lasting immunity.
In seasonal allergy the prescription is often only used in-season.
Are there any side effects?
Side effects of SLIT are possible and usually appear as mild itching or stomach problems. They are quite rare and resolve with dose adjustments.
Very rarely, severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis)
have been reported using SLIT.
How does Sublingual Immunotherapy work?
In SLIT gradually increasing doses of allergies are exposed to the patient at low enough levels to not cause symptom flares but high enough levels to improve overall tolerance.
With continued low-dose exposure the immune system reduces its reactions to the allergy.
Sublingual Immunotherapy occurs in two phases:
1) Build-up Phase: Slow introduction to increasing amounts of the allergens once per day.
2) Maintenance Phase: This occurs when the effective maintenance dose has been reached (based on your allergen sensitivity and response to the Build-up Phase).
Symptom resolution can begin right away but major improvement is known to take place after 3 months on the maintenance dose. Three to five years is the most common duration of maintenance treatment and usually confers a duration of 8-10 years of continued relief.
Who can benefit from SLIT allergy treatment?
SLIT is used for environmental and seasonal allergy in both children and adults.
Discussions around effectiveness, appropriateness and safety of SLIT are made on a case by case basis in allergy treatment.
Decisions are commonly made based on the following factors:
1) Allergies – Type of allergic symptoms, the severity and whether they are seasonal or year-round
2) Treatments tried – Whether medications and/or environmental controls are helping your allergy symptoms
3) Any concerns about long-term medication use and the commitment to treatment (sublingual treatment requires a daily dose)
4) The cost involved and individual insurance coverage
SLIT is covered by select extended medical coverage providers.