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Inflammation & Allergy - Drug Targets (Discontinued)


ISSN (Print): 1871-5281
ISSN (Online): 2212-4055

Non-Injection Routes for Allergen Immunotherapy: Focus on Sublingual Immunotherapy

Author(s): Giovanni Passalacqua, Laura Guerra, Mercedes Pasquali and Giorgio W. Canonica

Volume 5, Issue 1, 2006

Page: [43 - 51] Pages: 9

DOI: 10.2174/187152806775269286

Price: $65


Allergen specific immunotherapy, together with drugs and allergen avoidance, is a cornerstone in the management of respiratory allergy. The non-injection or local routes were developed with the main goal of improving the safety and minimizing the risk of those side effects, which can accompany the injection route. The pure oral route and the bronchial route showed, in the clinical trials, only a marginal efficacy with not negligible side effects. Therefore, these routes are no longer recommended for clinical use. The nasal route proved effective and safe, but its efficacy is strictly limited to the nose. Moreover, the practical problems with administration have made the use of nasal immunotherapy progressively declining. The efficacy of the sublingual route is confirmed by numerous controlled trials, and a meta analysis (in allergic rhinitis). The safety profile, as derived from clinical trials and post marketing surveillance studies, is satisfactory, with mild gastrointestinal complaints being the more frequent side effect reported. Recent studies have also demonstrated that SLIT has a long-lasting effect and a preventive effect on the onset of new skin sensitizations, and interesting data on adherence and mechanisms of action have become recently available. Based on these experimental data, SLIT is now officially accepted as a viable alternative to the subcutaneous route in adults and children. Several points still need to be elucidated, including: mechanisms of action, optimal dosages, and indications in pediatric patients.

Keywords: Allergen immunotherapy, sublingual immunotherapy, local immunotherapy, non-injection routes, efficacy, safety

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