Sublingual Immunotherapy Approved for Grass Allergies

The FDA has approved the first sublingual allergen extract to treat 
rhinitis — with or without conjunctivitis — caused by grass 
pollens. The once-daily tablet (Oralair) is indicated for patients 
aged 10 to 65 years.

The drug contains a mix of five grass pollens: Kentucky Blue Grass, 
Orchard, Perennial Rye, Sweet Vernal, and Timothy. In studies among 
some 2500 patients, those taking Oralair had a 16% to 30% reduction in 
symptoms compared with those on placebo.

The first dose should be administered in a clinician’s office (before 
the start of the grass pollen season) so that the patient can be 
observed for adverse reactions. The prescribing information includes a 
boxed warning about potentially life-threatening allergic reactions 
(e.g., anaphylaxis). The most common side effects include itching and 
swelling in the mouth, and throat irritation.

FDA news release

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