Skip to content

    Allergies Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Oral Immunotherapy

    Most allergy treatments control symptoms such as itchy eyes and runny nose. They don't treat the cause.

    Immunotherapy -- in the form of allergy shots, drops, or tablets you put under your tongue -- is different. It can markedly reduce allergy symptoms or even make them go away.

    Recommended Related to Allergies

    Angioedema, Hereditary

    Important It is possible that the main title of the report Angioedema, Hereditary is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.

    Read the Angioedema, Hereditary article > >

    How Oral Immunotherapy Works

    Oral immunotherapy gets your body used to an allergen so it doesn't cause a reaction. Right now, hay fever is the only allergic reaction treated with oral immunotherapy tablets.

    Here's how it can help.

    First, your doctor needs to do allergy testing to find out the cause of your allergies.

    If you have hay fever, your doctor will give you a tiny dose of the allergen as a tablet. You let it sit under your tongue and then swallow it. Because the dose is so small, your body won't react.

    You’ll get more doses of the allergen on a regular basis so your body gets used to it. Eventually, you should have only very mild symptoms when you get the allergen. Or you may not even have symptoms anymore.

    Oral immunotherapy works the same way that allergy shots do, except:

    It doesn't require shots. This could make a difference for many people, especially children.

    It’s easier. Usually you can do it at home.

    It has lower risks. Common side effects include:

    Can I Get Oral Immunotherapy?

    Talk to your doctor if you're interested in this option. The prescription tablets, called GRASTEK, Ragwitek, and Oralair, are FDA approved to treat hay fever.

    You may have also heard about immunotherapy drops. Because drops are not approved by the FDA, there is no way to know what they contain or how safe or effective they may be.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Luqman Seidu, MD on May 02, 2016

    Today on WebMD

    man blowing nose
    Make these tweaks to your diet, home, and lifestyle.
    Allergy capsule
    Breathe easier with these products.
     
    cat on couch
    Live in harmony with your cat or dog.
    Woman sneezing with tissue in meadow
    Which ones affect you?
     

    blowing nose
    Article
    woman with sore throat
    Article
     
    lone star tick
    Slideshow
    Woman blowing nose
    Slideshow
     

    Send yourself a link to download the app.

    Loading ...

    Please wait...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

    Thanks!

    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    cat lying on shelf
    Article
    Allergy prick test
    VIDEO
     
    Man sneezing into tissue
    Assessment
    Woman holding feather duster up to face, twitching
    Quiz