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Oral drops can give kids needle-free relief from asthma, allergies
Date:5/5/2013

Allergy shots are commonly used to treat children with severe environmental allergies and asthma, but under-the-tongue drops may offer yet another beneficial and stick-free option for pediatric allergy sufferers, according to a Johns Hopkins Children's Center review of existing scientific evidence.

The new research comes on the heels of another recent Hopkins study, which showed that oral drops provide a safe and effective alternative for adult allergy sufferers.

The new review, appearing May 6 in the journal Pediatrics, is an analysis of 34 previously published clinical trials and suggests that both drops and injections work well in alleviating the bothersome symptoms of allergic rhinitis and asthma, the research team says. In addition to being better tolerated by needle-averse children, the oral treatment can be given at home, sparing the family a visit to the doctor's office.

"Our findings suggest the needle-free approach is a reasonable way to provide much-needed relief to millions of children who suffer from asthma or seasonal allergies," says lead author Julia Kim, M.D., M.P.H., a pediatric research fellow at Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

Allergy shots, which contain tiny amounts of proteins found in environmental allergens such as dust mites and pollen, are a standard treatment for severe seasonal allergies in children who do not get relief from medication. However, under-the-tongue drops are not approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and are only offered off label by some physicians. The needle-free approach is widely available in Europe, where patients are commonly treated with sublingual pills and drops, the researchers say.

The new findings, Kim notes, are encouraging enough to prompt a second look at oral drops as a treatment option.

The Hopkins researchers first looked at 13 studies that involved 920 children and compared the efficacy of allergy injections to e
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Contact: Ekaterina Pesheva
epeshev1@jhmi.edu
410-502-9433
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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