How Oral Immunotherapy Works
Oral immunotherapy gets your body used to an allergen so it doesn't cause a reaction. Right now, hay fever and a peanut allergy are the only allergic reactions treated with oral immunotherapy tablets.
Here's how it can help.
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. Odactra is a drug the FDA approved in 2017 for dust mite-induced allergic rhinitis. In 2020, the FDA approved Palforzia to treat peanut allergy.
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.