Allergy Shot Alternatives

Is it better to get traditional shots or use one of the allergy shot alternatives? Many individuals are asking this question as more and more people seek methods to minimize the adverse effects of allergy shots. We’ll go through the benefits and drawbacks of allergy shot alternatives in this blog post so you can decide if they’re right for you!

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Sublingual Immunotherapy Drops & Tablets (allergy shot alternative)

Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) drops are a type of allergy shot alternative that works by administering small doses of allergens under the tongue. These drops are typically taken once or twice a day, and they can be an effective way to treat allergies.

One of the main benefits of sublingual immunotherapy drops is that they are relatively safe and well-tolerated. In addition, they are easy to administer and can be taken on the go. Unlike traditional allergy shots, there is no need for a doctor’s appointment or injection.

Side Effects of SLIT

SLIT can cause minor side effects such as mouth irritation, nausea, and headaches. In rare cases, SLIT can also cause anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction. It is important to talk to your doctor before starting SLIT and to monitor your symptoms carefully while taking these drops.

How effective is SLIT treatment?

fact: over 80% of participants who took SLIT drops had a significant reduction in allergy symptoms.

There have been studies on the SLIT treatment to see how well they work, and studies have shown that SLIT is an effective allergy treatment. In one study, over 80% of participants who took SLIT drops had a significant reduction in allergy symptoms. However, it is important to note that SLIT may not work for everyone.

Although I could not find a definitive answer for allergy shots efficacy, the studies did state that “SCIT (allergy shots) were favored SLIT with respect to both symptom and medication score reductions.”

Drawbacks

However, there are some drawbacks to using sublingual immunotherapy drops. One is that they may not be as effective as traditional allergy shots (varies from person to person). Additionally, they can be expensive, and insurance may not cover them. These drawbacks may be a deal breaker or a moot point, it really depends on your specific situation. 

How much does sublingual immunotherapy cost?

Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT) drops can cost between $50-$200 a month

SLIT drops can be expensive, costing anywhere from $50 to $200 per month. They may also not be covered by insurance. However, there are some coupons and discounts available online.

Pros and cons of SLIT

Here is a quick pros and cons rundown on Sublingual Immunotherapy. 

Pros

  • Relatively safe
  • Well-tolerated
  • Easy to administer
  • Can be taken on the go (no appointment needed)

Cons

  • SLIT may not be as effective as traditional allergy shots
  • Potentially expensive

If you are considering using sublingual immunotherapy drops to treat your allergies, make sure to talk to your doctor about all the pros and cons of this treatment option.

Treating Symptoms

There are a variety of treatment options for allergy symptoms, which could be looked at as an allergy shot alternative. Here are some options to consider if you are not looking to start allergy shots, drops, or tablets at this time.

Antihistamines

Antihistamines are a common treatment for allergy symptoms. They work by blocking histamine, which is a chemical that your body releases when you are allergic to a substance. Antihistamines help relieve symptoms such as sneezing, itchy eyes, and a runny nose, which may be a good allergy shot alternative.

 Some antihistamines can also help to relieve allergy-related coughs and congestion. There are a variety of antihistamines available, both over-the-counter and prescription. 

List of Antihistamines 

  • Allegra (fexofenadine)
  • Claritin (loratadine) 
  •  Zyrtec (cetirizine)
  • Allegra-d (fexofenadine and pseudoephedrine)
  • Clarinex (desloratadine)
  • Zyrtec-d (cetirizine and pseudoephedrine)

I have been off and on Claritin and Zyrtec. Currently (last few years), Claritin is my “go-to”. Keep in mind that it is important to talk with your doctor before starting an antihistamine, as they can cause side effects such as drowsiness.

Nasal Sprays

Nasal sprays work to stop allergies by delivering a medicine called corticosteroid directly to the site of the allergy. This helps to reduce inflammation and relieve allergy symptoms. Nasal sprays are available both over-the-counter and prescription. 

 List of Nasal Sprays 

  • Beclomethasone
  • Budesonide
  • Fluticasone
  • Mometasone
  • Beconase aq (beclomethasone)
  • Flonase (fluticasone)
  • Nasacort (triamcinolone acetonide)
  • Omnaris (zafirlukast)

There are some side effects such as headaches and nosebleeds with nasal sprays, so you know, talk to your doctor. 

Nasal Rinse

Nasal rinses work to clear the nasal passages of allergens and other irritants. This can help to relieve allergy symptoms such as sneezing, a runny nose, and congestion. Nasal rinse solutions are available over-the-counter and include ingredients such as salt water, baking soda, or vinegar.

Read those ingredients again, yup, all-natural! This is a great allergy shot alternative if you are looking to find symptom relief.

It is important to shake the nasal rinse solution well before using it. To use, tilt your head back and pour the nasal rinse solution into one nostril. Close off the other nostril with your finger, and let the rinse solution flow through your nose and out the other nostril. Repeat this process for the other nostril.

It is important to talk with your doctor before starting a nasal rinse, as they can cause side effects such as headaches and nosebleeds.

Eye Drops

Allergy eye drops work by reducing the inflammation in the eyes, caused by allergies. This helps to relieve allergy symptoms such as itchy and watery eyes. Eye drops are available over-the-counter and prescription. 

List of Eye Drops 

  • Optivar (azelastine)
  • Zaditor (ketotifen)
  • Patanol (olopatadine)
  • Alaway (ketotifen)

My favorite is Patanol (Pataday). I have been prescribed these drops before they were available over the counter, and whenever I need relief these drops do the job every time. They burn a little bit in the beginning, but in my mind, “that’s the drops defeating the allergen.”. 

If you want to give Pataday a go, you can literally buy it on Amazon, or your local drug store. 

Which Treatment is Best?

There is no definitive answer to this question. Some people find that sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) drops are more effective than allergy shots, while others find that allergy shots are more effective. 

It depends on individual circumstances! Maybe you do a combination? 

Personally, I am getting allergy shots, and it is time-consuming! But, I see results, so it is all worth it for me. I am also using antihistamines and nasal rinses on really bad allergy days. Find what works for you.

Final Thoughts

There aren’t any super awesome allergy shot alternatives out there (yet). I hope in the coming years this will all change.

Have you tried allergy shots or drops? Did you find success? Tell me all about it! chris@allergypreventions.com

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By Chris

Chris is the creator of Allergy Preventions. As an allergy sufferer himself, his vision is to help others find relief from allergies. By combining his 14 years of Public Health experience, personal experience, and his thirst for knowledge, he is dedicated to providing quality recommendations to assist families with allergy symptom relief.