Everything You Have To Know About Allergic Rhinitis: Is Immunotherapy The Solution?

A significant number of experts have long considered allergic rhinitis which ais also known as hay fever as a type of inflammation in the nose which occurs when the immune system overreacts to allergens in the air. Doctors usually note allergic rhinitis as a condition that induces major effects on quality of life, sleep, and work and school performance. Now, a new study has recently revealed that among patients with moderate to severe seasonal allergic rhinitis, the study finds that having two years of immunotherapy tablets was not significantly different from placebo in improving nasal symptoms at 3-year follow-up.

Allergic Rhinitis And Immunotherapy

According to reports revealed by Science Daily, three years of continuous treatment with subcutaneous immunotherapy through injection and sublingual immunotherapy with the use of tablets has been shown to improve symptoms for at least two years following discontinuation of treatment. However, researchers have highly emphasized that it is yet unknown whether a shorter course of immunotherapy provides long-term benefits, while reducing overall costs, patient inconvenience, and adverse events. In the course of the study, the researchers found that treatment for two years with grass pollen sublingual immunotherapy was not sufficient to achieve an allergic response improvement at 3-year follow-up.

Study Proposition

Meanwhile, in one of their statements reported by Medscape, study lead author Dr. Guy Scadding, MBBS, PhD, together with his colleagues from Imperial College and Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom, said that considering the negative results of the trial, clinicians should be advised to follow established guidelines that recommend at least 3 years treatment. The study authors have explained that subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT) has been regarded to be as established as a highly effective treatment typically intended for rhinitis symptoms, whereas sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) is known to be a more recent alternative. Scadding's team adds that three years of continuous treatment with immunotherapy with the help of either delivery method is perceived to modify the underlying course of the disease with long-term remission of symptoms for several years after stopping treatment.

Furthermore, the authors have highlighted the data's implication for the need of a head-to-head clinical trial of sublingual and subcutaneous immunotherapy. In an accompanying editorial, Linda S. Cox MD, from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine at Holy Cross Hospital, Fort Lauderdale, Florida said that the study therefore implies that 2 years is not sufficient for SLIT treatment to induce long-term clinical efficacy.


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