Woodward, Okla. —
IMMUNOTHERAPY EFFECTIVE BUT EXPENSIVE
He said immunotherapy is somewhat of a last resort for allergy suffers who can't get relief any other way.
"Usually people try to manage on their own," he said, noting "Typically when I see a patient, they've already taken multiple medications without any really working."
Immunotherapy is also for those with more severe or frequent allergy problems.
"If they only have symptoms for a month or 2 out of the year then they might never go to a doctor, but if their symptoms last longer or are more significant then that's when they end up at their physician's office," Kaiser said.
The good thing though is that immunotherapy is effective, he said.
"Shots are the gold standard for immunotherapy because they work very well," Kaiser said. "And you don't have to remember to take anything, but you do have to go to the doctor's office to get your shot once a week."
As an alternative, he said, "the nice thing about the drops under the tongue is that you don't have to go to the doctor's office, you can take them at home."
Initially, he said you take the drops once a day for the first few days and then once a week. "But you just have to remember to take them," he said.
However, another benefit to the drops, Kaiser said is "there's never been a reported significant reaction to the drops. There's the rare reaction to the shots, but none have ever been reported with the drops."
Whether a patient chooses the shots or the drops, Kaiser said the immunotherapy treatment period continues several months.
"Usually a year or 2 is usually sufficient for most people," he said.
Partly due to the length of the treatment period as well as other factors, Kaiser said that immunotherapy is "probably the most expensive option" for treating allergies.
But it may be worth the expense for those for whom environmental control or medications are not effective enough, he said.