Consumer Reports: Allergy medication alternatives that don't require needles

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If you suffer from allergies and the traditional medications won't work, there's something newer that may help. Sublingual immunotherapy is an alternative which doesn't include sho

If you suffer from allergies and the traditional medications won't work, there's something newer that may help. Sublingual immunotherapy is an alternative which doesn't include shots.

Consumer Reports took a look at the new possible remedy and tells you if it could be a good option to get rid of those pesky allergy symptoms.

For Angelo Alban and his three young children, seasonal allergy symptoms have gotten so bad that they've had to make changes to their daily lives.

"On very, very, very bad days, it's very hard to go outside. I've called out of work. You can't breathe properly or you can't see properly. Driving becomes an issue," Alban said.

As for finding any form of relief, the options have been limited with mixed results.

"I take several medications. I use prescription eye drops and prescription nose sprays, and I also take regular pills that I have to change periodically because they stop working after a while," Alban said.

The only other option? His doctor recommended allergy shots to reduce his allergy symptoms over time.

"I personally have a bit of a fear of needles, like shots for me are not something I would be okay with," Alban said.

But there could be good news ahead for the Alban family. Sublingual immunotherapy, or SLIT, may reduce symptoms to specific allergens and doesn't include needles.

Consumer Reports says it may be worth considering.

"Sublingual immunotherapy is pretty easy to use. Once you have a consultation with your doctor, all it really takes is putting a tablet under your tongue for only a few minutes a day," said Patricia Calvo, Consumer Reports Health Editor.

Currently, there are four FDA-approved SLIT treatments available on the market.

Odactra, the first SLIT-approved treatment for house dust mite allergies. Oralair, for five different grass pollens, Grastek, for Timothy grass allergies and Ragwitek, for ragweed.

As for the Alban family, SLIT is something they are seriously considering.

"It's also not shots which is... which is big," Alban said.

Depending on the specific SLIT treatment, younger people may start at age 5.

Consumer Reports says Oralair, Grastek and Ragwitek tablets are started about four months before the grass season and continued through the season.

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