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What is Allergy Drops Therapy™?

What is an antigen?

What kind of allergies can be treated with Allergy Drops Therapy™?

Who should take Allergy Drops Therapy™?

Are Allergy Drops Therapy™ safe? Is there research validating their effectiveness?

What are the Advantages to Allergy Drops Therapy"?

Will my medical insurance cover the costs?

I've heard that allergy drops are not covered by the FDA. Is that safe?

Why don't more people receive Allergy Drops Therapy™ if they're so effective?

What are the ingredients?

How long will I need to take my drops?

How long can I expect the effects of allergy drops to last?



What is Allergy Drops Therapy™?

Allergy Drops Therapy™ is a simple, safe and convenient way to treat the underlying cause of allergies not just the symptoms. Allergy Drops Therapy™, also known as sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) is one of the options for treatment of allergies with Allergy Drops Therapy™. Most common options for treatment of allergies are antihistamines, steroids, inhalers and other prescribed medications. In addition, there are many homeopathic, herbal and dietary supplements that can be used. Unfortunately, most of these options treat the symptoms and not the underlying cause of allergies – thus making the person a user of these products for life. Allergy Drops Therapy™ help desensitize the individual to what they are allergic thereby increasing their tolerance to the exposure of what is causing their allergies. Increasing the strength of their immune system over time leads to more allergy free days without the side effects of common allergy medications and treatments.

 

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What is an antigen?

An antigen is a substance that, when introduced into the body, triggers the production of an antibody by the immune system and also triggers an inflammatory response (allergic symptoms). Antigens can vary from pollen, dust, molds to foods such as wheat, soy, milk, eggs, etc. Allergy Drops Therapy™ use carefully and safely prescribed low physiological doses of antigens that one is allergic to, the dose based on their individual accurate allergy blood test results. Therefore allergy drops are customized to each individuals results to give a personalized treatment that is very effective. All antigens used in Allergy Drops Therapy™ do not contain artificial preservatives or chemicals such as phenols.

 

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What kind of allergies can be treated with Allergy Drops Therapy™?

Allergy Drops Therapy™ can treat a variety of allergies including the following: grasses, weeds, trees, dust mites, molds, animals and foods.

 

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Who should take Allergy Drops Therapy™?

Anyone who has allergies can take Allergy Drops Therapy™, especially those who prefer not to have allergy shots (or are too sensitive to undergo shot therapy) and those who do not want to take oral medications such as antihistamines and steroids. Those whom benefit from allergy drops include:

  • Infants and children*
  • Asthmatics
  • Highly sensitive people
  • People with chronic sinusitis
  • People with IBS, UC/Crohn’s disease
  • People with fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue
  • People with food allergies
  • People with busy schedules
  • People with multiple allergies including dust, pollen, animals

*Allergy Drops Therapy™ have proven especially helpful for children with eczema and recurrent ear infections, which often have underlying allergic causes. Research shows that many children with untreated eczema and allergies often develop asthma and other chronic conditions later in life, so treating them early can have life-long benefits and may prevent development of other allergies.

 

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Is Allergy Drops Therapy™ safe? Is there research validating their effectiveness?

Allergy drops have been used around the world for more than 70 years, and over 80 clinical studies validate both the safety and effectiveness. In fact, the World Health Organization has endorsed sublingual immunotherapy (aka Allergy Drops Therapy™) as a safe and effective alternative to injection therapy. The Cochrane Collaboration, the world’s most-trusted international organization dedicated to reviewing healthcare treatments, recently concluded allergy drop immunotherapy significantly reduced allergy symptoms and use of allergy medications. See our Research for more information about research studies.

 

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What are the Advantages to Allergy Drops Therapy™?

In addition to being able to treat patients of all ages safely and effectively, the other advantages of using Allergy Drops Therapy™include:

      • Integrative Medicine Allergy Consult. Most allergists spend a few minutes with you, schedule skin prick testing and then offer allergy shots or prescribed allergy medication. Most people leave the allergists office with the same if not more medications than they came in with. In addition, with skin prick testing there are many factors that influence the accuracy which may lead to false positive and false negative results. With Allergy Drops Therapy™ during your one hour consultation with Integrative Medicine expert Dr. Sunil Pai a holistic approach is used along with accurate blood testing which is more sensitive and specific for testing allergies (i.e not influenced by medications, supplements, herbs, hydration, elevation, etc). In addition, environmental, dietary and lifestyle education is provided along with other options for a complete Integrative Medicine approach such as Bosmeric-SR, biotherapeutics, and other clinically tested natural therapies.

      • Lower costs, fewer clinic visits. Compared to allergy shots and other allergy treatment programs, Allergy Drops Therapy™ typically costs less and requires fewer clinic visits. Patients using Allergy Drops Therapy™ in addition to the lifestyle and nutritional counseling provided by Dr. Sunil Pai can avoid weekly or monthly office visits that typically occur with allergy injections or other allergy treatment programs.

      • More convenient. The allergy drops that are offered as an option in Allergy Drops Therapy™ comes in a bottle which last 6 weeks and does not need refrigeration nor contains any artificial preservatives or chemicals (such as phenolics in shots). It also contains a metered dose pump and specialized angled tip for easy application under the tongue. One squirt under the tongue three time a day – that is all that is needed. No need for messy droppers or need for refrigeration as seen with other allergy drops used by other allergists or clinics. In addition, other natural options (Bosmeric-SR and biotherapeutics) are provided immune and inflammation support for additional help with allergies if needed.

      • Less medication. Patients report, and research confirms, that most patients need less medication to control symptoms after beginning the program of Allergy Drops Therapy™. They also appreciate the financial benefits of reduced medication expenses previously spent on antihistamines, steroids, inhalers, dietary supplements, herbs and tinctures as well as avoiding unwanted side effects!

 

      • More allergy-free days. When following recommendations and treatments provided from Allergy Drops Therapy™ patients will avoid missing school or work and even hospitalizations. Therefore they can enjoy more allergy-free days.

 

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Will my medical insurance cover the costs?

Sanjevani Integrative Medicine Health & Lifestyle Center is fee-for-service. However, we can provide a superbill with the codes for you to submit to your insurance. Depending on your insurance company and plan (i.e. out of network coverage), Insurance companies may cover some of the cost of the office visit and diagnostic allergy testing. However, for the cost of Allergy Drops Therapy™ (less than a cup of coffee a day), they are not typically covered by insurance, since they are an off-label use. Some state such as Washington state have insurance companies now covering the allergy drops. Therefore, with the current changes in our healthcare system, we hope that this trend will continue over time to each state.

At Sanjevani we accept Visa, Mastercard, checks and cash. We also provide the option for CareCredit for those who want to take advantage of interest free payment plans. Click here for more information about CareCredit.

Allergy drops do qualify for HSA or Flex Spending reimbursement. Most of our patients agree that the investment in allergy drops is well worth the lasting results and improvement in their quality of life, and the monthly costs are typically comparable to time spent going to and from doctors visits, copays for prescriptions, over the counter allergy medications, dietary supplements, herbs, tinctures and injection immunotherapy.

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I’ve heard that allergy drops are not approved by the FDA. Is that safe?

First, it’s important to understand that the antigens used in Allergy Drops Therapy™ are the same FDA-approved antigens used in allergy shots. They’re also prepared in the same way as allergy shots. The difference is the route of administration – a metered dose pump that delivers a drop of antigen under the tongue versus a syringe injecting antigen into tissue. Unlike other allergy drops or shot treatments, the antigens used in Allergy Drops Therapy™ are additive-free and without chemicals such as phenols.

Currently, antigens are labeled by the FDA for use through injections. Using them for sublingual immunotherapy is an off-label use of an FDA-approved biologic, which is both legal and highly common. Most physicians prescribe “off-label” use of a myriad of drugs today, for example, the use of blood pressure medications for migraines, aspirin for heart conditions, or the use of arthritis drugs for the treatment of shingles.

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Why don’t more patients receive allergy drops if they’re so effective?

Allergy drops are widely accepted as an effective treatment throughout the world. In fact, 50-75 percent of allergy sufferers in southern Europe are treated with allergy drops. This is because with governmental run health care coverage to their citizens, they have chosen the most safe, efficacious and cost-effective treatment available. Unfortunately, here in the U.S., our healthcare is predominately under influence from the pharmaceutical companies which would rather have people take medications for their entire life than to improve the quality of life and obtain true allergy relief. In fact, approximately $17.5 billion was spent on allergy treatments in the U.S. in 2010. Hopefully with the new focus on reducing healthcare costs and also reducing side effects of treatment, Allergy Drops Therapy™ will become more popular in the U.S.

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What are the ingredients?

The allergy drops provided in Allergy Drops Therapy™, is a customized prescription of low physiological dosed FDA approved antigens based upon each individuals allergies that have been determined by specialty laboratory testing. The allergy drops can contain from 18-25 different per bottle. Each bottle lasts 45 days with the instructions of using one drop (squirt of the pump) under the tongue three times a day. The allergy drops are stabilized in a vegetable glycerin solution so no refrigeration is needed and there is no alcohol, additives, preservatives or chemicals such as phenols.

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How long will I need to take my drops?

On average patients take Allergy Drops Therapy™ each day for three to five years, but it varies according to the severity of their allergies, and how compliant they are with treatment. Many patients can begin to see symptom improvement in as little as 6 weeks. Every 6 weeks their immune system is stronger than the 6 weeks prior and less allergy symptoms throughout the use. In some children therapy maybe completed within 2 years.

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How long can I expect the effects of Allergy Drops Therapy™?

Since Allergy Drops Therapy™ treat the underlying cause of the allergies not just the symptoms, a lasting benefit occurs from treatment. By training the body (immune system) with the appropriate antigens at the customized doses per individual provides a long term effect. By taking the allergy drops, one improves their tolerance to the allergies. Once tolerance is achieved, it can be permanent for many patients. Studies have already been conducted to explore the long-lasting effect of allergy drops, including a 10-year study on children with asthma that demonstrated drops maintained effectiveness long after treatment stopped.

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