For many years, we treated our patients with allergy shots, like all other allergists in Colorado. That’s because immunotherapy allergy shots were the most effective way to treat allergy symptoms long-term. However, allergy shots require patients to make weekly office visits for 4-5 years. While allergy shots do work, most patients can’t complete the lengthy program.
In 2004, one of our doctors, Dr. Menachof, discovered a new alternative to allergy shots. After extensive research, he brought sublingual immunotherapy (allergy drops) to Colorado for the first time. Allergy drops are a more effective and convenient way to treat allergy symptoms. You can get rid of your allergy symptoms with only three drops under your tongue daily.
Allergy Drops Vs. Shots
Now, most of our allergy patients are choosing allergy drops instead of shots because this treatment is easy and convenient. These patients are experiencing freedom from their allergy symptoms for the first time in years.
For more than 60 years, people all over the world have used allergy drops as a safe way to treat allergy symptoms – safe enough to successfully treat infants, children, and people suffering from chronic conditions that made them unable to receive immunotherapy shots.
What You Can Expect for Your Allergy Visit
- Testing and evaluation: At Advanced ENT & Allergy Center, we treat allergies specific to the Denver area. During your hour-long in-office skin test, we determine the allergies you have and the severity of those allergies. After your test, you’ll meet with one of our immunology experts to discuss your treatment options. (Schedule an allergy test today).
- Prescribing allergy drops: We customize your allergy drops based on your specific allergies. We can mix several antigens in one bottle of allergy drops so that we treat all of your allergies at the same time.
- Taking your allergy drops: You can do your treatments at home – typically two doses in the morning and one dose at night. When you run out, our office will send you the next bottle in your treatment program.
- Environmental controls and medications: Once we confirm your allergies, we can help you find ways to avoid your allergens by suggesting changes in diet and lifestyle. To help reduce symptoms, we can also prescribe medications. However, patients who choose to start allergy drops notice that their need for medication decreases the longer they take the drops.
The First Doctor to Use Drops in Colorado
Dr. Menachof was the first to bring sublingual allergy drops to Colorado. After extensive research, he realized that this was an incredibly successful and easy way to treat allergy symptoms in his patients. The doctors at Advanced ENT & Allergy Center have now been treating patients with allergy drops for over a decade, ranging from age 3 to age 80. Almost 90 percent of patients have completed the program and achieved long-lasting results.
Frequently Asked Questions about Allergy Drops
Allergy drop treatment works by delivering a slowly increasing dose of FDA approved antigen that, over time, builds the body’s tolerance. Allergy drops affect specialized cells in the immune system. Research shows these cells are a friendly and effective route for long-term desensitization, making allergy drops an ideal option for patients who can’t receive allergy shots due to time constraints and/or medical conditions.
Most of our Denver, Colorado patients take allergy drops for 3 to 5 years. We retest allergies annually and adjust the strength of your drops accordingly. Most patients report that their symptoms start to subside after only 3 months of use. Patients also report that they take fewer medications within a few months of starting on allergy drops.
Patients find that their need for allergy medication decreases soon after allergy drop therapy begins. You can use antihistamines (Claritin, Zyrtec, Astepro, etc.) while the drops start to strengthen your immune system’s tolerance to your allergens. Over time, most patients find that they don’t need to take any allergy medicines in conjunction with their allergy drops.
The typical monthly cost of allergy drops is comparable to prescription allergy medication co-pays and is generally less expensive than a one-month supply of over-the-counter allergy medications. Currently, we cannot bill your insurance carrier for this service, and we offer drops to our patients on a cash-basis only. However, we can process your drops through your health savings account or flex account.
Side effects for allergy drops versus allergy shots are different. Allergy shorts have a small but insignificant chance of anaphylaxis. This usually means that a 30-minute observation is required any patient receives a new bottle of shot serum. Allergy drops, on the other hand, have never had a reported case of anaphylaxis and are a significantly safer form of immunotherapy. The most common side effects for allergy drops are itchy mouth or an increase of a patients normal allergy symptoms.
Allergy drops use the same FDA-approved antigens as allergy shots – the only difference is the route of administration (injection versus oral). The FDA approves one-time use products, not therapies. Therefore, the FDA will probably never approve the use of multi-antigen therapy.
Environmental allergies can trigger migraine headaches. Doctors are still trying to understand this process, but there are many theories as to why allergies and migraines are linked. Some of these include: Sinusitis, allergic rhinitis, and histamine. With a combination of sinus and allergy treatments, our doctors have been very successful treating patients who suffer from chronic headaches.
A pollen count or a mold count is the number of pollen or mold spores in a cubic meter of air. When pollen counts are high, people with hay fever will experience intensified symptoms. High mold count symptoms include: sneezing, itchy throat and eyes, runny nose, congestion, coughing, and dry, scaling skin.
While we don’t have a magic cat allergy vaccine, our sublingual drop treatment can gradually eliminate your cat allergy symptoms. If you test positive for a specific allergy, we can provide you with allergy drops that will contain that particular allergen. Sublingual immunotherapy (allergy drops) introduces your immune system to small amounts of an allergen over an extended period of time. This causes your body to make blocking antibodies to your allergen triggers, eventually stopping the allergic reaction from taking place. So, yes – we do offer immunotherapy for cat allergies (and dog allergies too)!