Sublingual Immunotherapy for Allergic Diseases
Medical Building, Sprinzak St., Tel Aviv
4 patients suffering from severe pollinosis and/or allergic rhinitis, with or without asthma, were treated as follows: 30 minutes before breakfast the vaccine was dropped sublingually and retained for 2-3 minutes before being swallowed. It was a commercial preparation of allergen, diluted 50% w/v in glycerin.
This stock solution was then diluted in physiological saline containing 0.05% human albumin and kept refrigerated in a dark glass bottle for up to 4 weeks. Of the first dilution which contained 10 Au/ml, 1 drop was given on day 1 and 1 drop more each day until days 5 to 17, when 5 drops were given daily. Then 1000 and then 2500 Au/ml were given sequentially in the same manner, and finally 5000 was given for up to 2 years. A maintenance dose of 3 drops of 5000 Au/ml twice weekly was then prescribed.
41 patients showed striking clinical improvement after about 6 months of treatment. A definite reduction in the use of other medications was achieved in all. Sublingual immunotherapy is practically free of unwanted side effects and easy to self-administer at home.
To establish the specificity of sublingual immunotherapy, patients who had severe allergic symptoms to one pollen allergen causing symptoms in the spring and to a second in the autumn, were first immunized sublingually against a single allergen. A year later, after symptoms due to this allergen had subsided, and if symptoms caused by the second allergen had not improved, immunization against the second allergen was started.
Sublingual immunotherapy acts by increasing mucosal antibodies at the site of entry of the allergen into the respiratory tract. It is a safe and practical procedure with results comparable to subcutaneous allergy injections.