Published Medical Studies Evaluating Allergy Drops

There have been over 1000 clinical trials on the use of sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT).   The best of these studies are “double-blind, placebo-controlled” (DBPC) meaning that the study was performed with neither the patient nor the physician knowing who had the active treatment and who received “nothing” (placebo).  There have been numerous DBPC studies showing that SLIT works for both allergic rhinitis and asthma in adults and children.  The evidence-based published medical literature on this subject is quite clear that Sublingual Immunotherapy reduces both symptoms and medication use in these conditions.  Fortunately, you do not have to take anyone’s word for it one way or another; you can see the published studies for yourself!  And you no longer have to go to a medical school library to locate articles in reputable medical journals—most can now be searched and downloaded directly from the United States National Library of Medicine (NLM, also known as “pubmed”) at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed
 
Typically, the abstract (summary) of the medical journal article can be accessed online for free, which often gives the desired information in summary form; or for the serious medical reader/physician interested in the particulars, you can pay a fee to download the entire article.
 
But what is even better than a single well-designed "double-blind, placebo-controlled" study published in a reputable medical journal? An analysis that gathers together MANY of these "top notch" studies and looks at them all together! This type of review is called a "meta-analysis" and is considered the highest medical evidence to support (or refute) ANY treatment. By reviewing data from many of the best published studies together, the population being "studied" is much larger and the results are much less subject to biases. There have been numerous meta-analyses on SLIT.
 
The Cochrane Group published a meta-analysis of SLIT in 2003 for allergic rhinitis which is often sited, wherein the conclusion of the review was that "SLIT is a safe treatment which significantly reduces symptoms and mdication requirements in allergic rhinitis." Read it for yourself:
 
 
Here are a few other meta-analyses as well:
 
Also, a meta-analysis specifically for children down to age 3 for allergic rhinitis: Efficacy of sublingual immunotherapy in the treatment of allergic rhinitis in pediatric patients 3 to 18 years of age: a meta-analysis of randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trials. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2006 Aug:97(2):141-8.
 
The benefit of SLIT has also been clearly shown for asthma; both in adults and children down to age 3. The most recent meta-analysis was published in March 2008, wherein SLIT was found to significantly reduce both symptom scores and rescue medication use. The journal "Chest," is the official medcal journal of the American College of Chest Physicians. That study is: Metaanalysis of the efficacy of sublingual immunotherapy in the treatment of allergic asthma in pediatric patients, 3 to 18 years of age. Chest. 2008 Mar;133(3):599-609.
 
By using the PUBMED link for the National Library of Medicine, and simply searching for "sublingual immunotherapy" you will be able to access MANY of these 1000+ individual medical articles as well as meta-analyses.
 
In the final analysis, of course, the question is: “But is this an appropriate therapy for me, or my spouse, or my child?”  That answer you will not find online, or in any medical journal, because it depends on the expertise of the physician treating you.  An appropriate intervention can only be made after an accurate diagnosis.  There is no one size fits all treatment, whether SLIT, subcutaneous immunotherapy (allergy injections), puffers, pills, or sprays.