Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT) is a method of allergy treatment which administers allergens (eg pollens, molds dust mites) in solution or dissolvable tablets under the tongue to immunize an allergic patient.
Contrast SLIT with the well known, current standard of care and FDA approved allergy treatment, “allergy injections” also called allergen immunotherapy or desensitization/hyposensitization injections. At this time, the SLIT method is considered experimental in the US and no solutions or tablets are FDA approved.
Many studies have been conducted, especially in Europe where SLIT is commonly administered. Research and patient trials are ongoing in the US and preliminary results appear positive. SLIT has a future role in the treatment of allergic patients when specific solutions and/or tablets are available, dosing regimens clarified and SLIT receives FDA approval.
Finally, there are no specific treatment codes for SLIT used by health insurance companies as well as Medicare and Medicaid, and therefore the cost of SLIT is not covered. Thus, the cost is out-of-pocket for the patient at this time. Beware, if a health care provider recommends SLIT and says the office will charge/file SLIT with their health insurance company. This could mean they are using inappropriate allergy treatment codes (eg “allergy injection” vial codes) and could be considered health care fraud according to health insurance policy.
The Texas Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Society (TAAIS) is a group of more than 220 board-certified Allergists/Immunologists in Texas.
An Allergist/Immunologist is a physician, usually an Internist or Pediatrician, who has had special training and experience in the field of Allergy and Immunology and who is considered to be an expert in the diagnosis and management of immune system disorders such as asthma, allergic rhinitis (hay fever), eczema, urticaria (hives), drug reactions, food allergies, immune deficiencies, and all general aspects of anaphylaxis.
A Board Certified Allergist/Immunologist is a physician who has passed the certifying examination of the American Board of Allergy and Immunology. A list of Board Certified Allergists can be found here. Those with “ABAI” under Board Certification are Board Certified Allergists/Immunologist.