September 21, 2021

Allergy Drops: A Complete Guide

Allergen immunotherapy, also known as desensitization or hypo-sensitization, is a medical treatment for environmental allergies.  Immunotherapy involves exposing people to increasing amounts of allergen in an attempt to change the immune system's response.

Studies have shown that taking over the counter antihistamines and nasal sprays for years on end have proven to cause adverse side effects, like depression, weight gain and even dementia. Immunotherapy is a non-pharmaceutical approach to long-term allergy relief - with no harmful side effects!

What are allergy drops?

Allergy drops, also known as sublingual immunotherapy or SLIT,  are a common alternative to allergy shots. Both treatments are options for treating allergies at their cause, ultimately providing long-term allergy relief.

Allergy drops introduce low doses of the specific allergens that you are allergic to under the tongue where they’re absorbed by the body. Over time, the body will build up a tolerance to these allergens, lessening or completely eliminating the allergic reaction.  The recommended course of treatment is 5 years for you to gain long term symptom relief.

How do allergy drops work?

Unlike antihistamines and other medications that treat allergy symptoms, allergy drops treat the source of allergies rather than just the symptoms.

Both allergy drops and allergy shots involve introducing small amounts of the problematic allergen to the body, with the goal of reducing the body’s sensitivity to the allergen over time. Allergy shots involve injecting small amounts of antigen into the skin, while allergy drops are taken under the tongue.

When your body is exposed to something you’re allergic to, your immune system responds by producing common allergy symptoms, like coughing, sneezing, congestion or runny nose, and itchy, watery eyes.

However, with repeated exposure to small but increasing doses of allergen your body eventually becomes tolerant of the allergen, so you get fewer or less severe symptoms when exposed to larger amounts of it.

What are the benefits of allergy drops?

Allergy drops work!

Many published studies reveal that allergy drops are just as effective as allergy shots in treating allergies and allergic rhinitis.

Safe to take at home

Allergy drops produce little to no reaction, which makes them safe to take at home. There have been no cases of anaphylaxis due to allergy drops, which is not the case with allergy shots. Common symptoms of allergy drops may include:

  • Mild tingling or itching in the mouth
  • While rare, some have been known to have a stomach ache after taking their allergy drops, however this subsides after a short period of time.


With allergy drops, there is no need to take time off school or work to treat your allergies. Allergy drops can be taken at home or on the go.  


With several different payment plans, allergy drops cost less than it would cost to take a daily over-the-counter allergy medication or nasal spray.  


Allergy drops are painless and easy to take. They also come in flavors! Apple, Raspberry, Grape and Strawberry.

How do you take allergy drops?

After you receive your allergy testing results, our team will provide a custom treatment plan with allergy drops composed of exactly what you’re allergic to.

Drops are usually given for the first time in the office, although these days it can also be done via telemedicine. Drops are placed under the tongue, and generally they are spaced out during the day. Most take one drop in the morning, one midday, and one in the evening, although many find it easier to take two drops in the morning and one at night or vice versa. It’s recommended to wait at least 20 minutes after taking allergy drops before eating or drinking. After the initial dose is taken, it’s completely normal to take the drops on your own at home.

How long does it take for allergy drops to work?

The time for one to notice allergy relief from allergy drops can vary, although we typically see results within six to 12 months after the start of treatment. It’s completely normal to be taking antihistamines for the first three months of treatment.

In general, it’s a good idea to begin your allergy drops three to four months before your problematic allergy season starts to get a jump start on your treatment.

What kinds of allergies can be treated with allergy drops?

Allergy drops can treat a variety of environmental and seasonal allergies. The most commonly treated allergies are:

  • Trees, like cedar (juniper), oak, and elm
  • Weeds, like ragweed, tumbleweed, and russian thistle
  • Grasses, like timothy grass, johnson grass, and bermuda grass
  • Dust
  • Molds

Treating allergies can also prevent the development of asthma as well as serve as an effective treatment for eczema, especially in children.

Am I a candidate for allergy drops?

To determine whether allergy drops are right for you, consider the following questions:

  • Have you suffered from environmental allergies like dust or mold for an extended period of time?
  • Have you suffered from seasonal allergies, like trees, grasses or weeds for an extended period of time?
  • Do you take over the counter allergy medications, like antihistamines or nasal sprays, on a regular basis?
  • Do you have a fear of needles?
  • Do you lead a busy schedule that would prevent you from coming into an allergy clinic for weekly allergy shots?
  • Is the patient a child? If so, allergy drops are a great option considering it is painless and can be taken from home.

If you answered yes to any of these questions, allergy drops may be a great solution for you.

In summary

Allergy drops can be very effective for treating allergic rhinitis due to seasonal and environmental allergens. We’ve successfully treated thousands of patients of all ages with allergy drops. They are just as effective as allergy shots and are associated with fewer side effects. Allergy drops are an excellent alternative to allergy shots for families and busy adults. Book an appointment to start your journey with allergy drops today!

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