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Study by Allegheny General Hospital Physicians Shows Oral Immunotherapy is a Safe, Effective Alternative to Allergy Shots for Ragweed Sufferers
Date:2/25/2013

II trial to demonstrate the clinical effectiveness of SLIT with liquid drops in treating ragweed allergy. The clinical improvement of 43 percent well exceeded the 20 percent that is the World Allergy Organization’s accepted norm for clinically meaningful improvement, Dr. Gentile said.

Dr. Gentile and AGH colleague David Skoner, MD, Director of AGH’s Division of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, have been pioneers in the development of oral immunotherapy for allergy sufferers. Their studies have paved the way for this significant Phase III trial.

A study by the AGH Team that was published in 2010 by the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that immunotherapy tablets taken by mouth were safe and effective in relieving Timothy grass allergy symptoms in children ages 5 to 17. Severity of symptoms improved by 26 percent in those who received the tablet vs. those who were randomly assigned to a placebo.

Another study, published in 2011 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found under-the-tongue tablets safe and effective for children and adolescents suffering from allergic rhinoconjunctivitis. And a 2012 study presented by Dr. Skoner at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology found that under-the-tongue tablets were also effective and safe for adults suffering from allergic rhinoconjunctivitis.

At this year’s AAAAI conference, Dr. Skoner also presented the results of a nationwide survey showing that educational efforts are needed to improve patient expectations and knowledge about specific immunotherapy (SIT), which desensitizes patients to their allergens. It is one of the most effective therapies available for allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, which is one of the most common chronic diseases in the U.S.

A telephone survey of 2,765 people showed that only 32 percent had heard of SIT, and of those aware of it 65 percent had discussed it with their health care providers.

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