By Scott Roberts
FRIDAY, April 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Ragwitek has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat allergy to short ragweed among adults aged 18 to 65.
The once-daily tablet contains an extract from short ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) pollen, the agency said in a news release. Treatment should begin 12 weeks before the start of ragweed season -- which in the United States includes late summer and early fall -- and continue through the season.
The product is placed under the tongue, where it rapidly dissolves. The first dose should be given by a doctor, who can monitor the user for any adverse reaction, the FDA said. Subsequent doses can be taken at home.
The product's label will include a boxed warning that it could cause a life-threatening reaction among people who are severely allergic to the pollen of short ragweed, one of the most common seasonal allergens.
Ragwitek is produced for New Jersey-based Merck and Co. by Catalent Pharma Solutions, based in the United Kingdom.