Can Oral Therapy Cure Hay Fever?

Great news for those in need of allergy relief!

If you have hay fever, there could be a cure. New treatments using oral immunotherapies show promise as a real alternative for seasonal allergies. Since many people have to deal with the challenges of managing seasonal allergies, this is good news for millions.

In November 2006, the first of a number of oral allergy vaccines, Grazax, was released onto the market. Grazax is a treatment for grass allergy, and is a product of Alk-Abello in Germany. Using this drug is simple for patients. Taken once daily, Grazax dissolves under the tongue. There are no injections and it's not necessary to use additional antihistamines. Current research shows that Grazax could be a possible allergy relief solution, as opposed to reliance on intravenous drugs, antihistamines and nasal steroids for grass allergy sufferers.

This drug is not only big for patients, but it could also be a big moneymaker for Alk-Abello. The world market for hay fever remedies is valued in the billions of dollars, so the promise of a cure could mean that the makers of other drug therapies will lose considerable revenue as patients are wooed away. There is potential for this new approach to completely redefine the marketplace and change the standard approach to managing allergic symptoms.

Currently, only about 33 percent of people can use antihistamines effectively to reduce or eliminate symptoms, and yet these products (both over-the-counter and prescription) are the first line of defense for allergy relief. Given the low level of good symptom control, many physicians will add nasal steroids in order to improve the management of an allergy. Only as a last resort will patients agree to allergy shots, or intravenous immunotherapy, as injections are unpleasant and must continue for a significant length of time in order to be effective.

With the advent of an oral immunotherapy and the promise of a cure, it is quite possible that a majority of patients will switch their preferred method for allergy relief.

Dust mite, cat and ragweed allergies could soon also be treated by oral immunotherapy. Drugs for these conditions are currently in the clinical trial stage.

December 15, 2006

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