Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT) is an immune system training regimen and therefore can be used in different ways to influence different types of changes in the immune system
When the immune system is exposed to rapidly increasing amounts of allergen (especially a single allergen) such as with a rush SLIT procedure, it receives a very different type of message than when it is exposed frequently and persistently to gradually increasing amounts of allergen(s) over longer periods of time such as with long-term SLIT.
A short-term single-allergen rush SLIT treatment can provide symptom relief towards a specific allergen earlier, which can be very useful in certain cases. However, it does not appear to create the same degree or types of core immune system changes as a multi-allergen long-term SLIT approach, and many of the immune system changes that occur with a short-term rush SLIT treatment revert back shortly after treatment is completed. We can help advise you about the potential risks and benefits of rush SLIT in your specific situation after your initial evaluation.
Rush SLIT typically results in desensitization – a useful temporary tolerance that provides early symptom relief and some protection to allergen exposures while on treatment
Desensitization is a medical term which indicates a procedure that changes a person’s immune response to an allergen resulting in a temporary tolerance that lasts while the treatment is maintained. Despite typically maintaining the desensitization with large doses of the allergen, the initial phase of the desensitization procedure signals the immune system differently than when the body is simply overwhelmed by a large allergen exposure (which activates allergy cells). Instead, the desensitization process renders allergy cells temporarily inactive or in a regenerative state due to the particular signaling pattern used, and this state is maintained by continued constant exposure to a certain amount of the allergen.
Desensitization procedures are most commonly done to allow someone with a drug allergy to be able to take the medication safely if they really need it for treatment of a health condition. The process involves frequent doses of rapidly increasing amounts of the drug up until the desired dose (or a reaction occurs and the process is stopped) and then maintaining constant exposure to the drug at that desired dose to keep the allergy cells in the desensitized state until the patient’s medical treatment with the drug is completed. Once the desensitization treatment is complete, the patient’s allergic reactivity to the drug generally returns over short period of time, which is why this is called temporary tolerance.
These desensitization principles can be extrapolated beyond drug desensitization to be used for other types of allergies.
Rush SLIT is often done with only one or a small number of allergens in order to minimize your risk of reacting
The up-dosing in rush SLIT reaches higher doses sooner than a long-term SLIT treatment and therefore has a higher risk of causing you to have a reaction if your immune system is overwhelmed by the treatment. In some people, rush SLIT will not initially be an option due to health or environmental conditions already overwhelming their immune system or suggesting that it could be easily overwhelmed with an additional stressor. In those individuals, we can work on improving those health and environmental conditions first such that once the immune system is no longer overwhelmed, rush SLIT treatments will be an option. Conversely, in some individuals with a calm enough immune system at the time, using a rush SLIT procedure to begin a multi-allergen long-term SLIT treatment program may be appropriate and safe, and can combine some of the different benefits of each method.
Allergenuity Health offers customizable short-term Rush SLIT Desensitization for seasonal allergens – a treatment that can provide additional allergy symptom relief and reduce your need for medications
Seasonal allergen rush SLIT is most often used in addition to a long-term sublingual immunotherapy program due to the complementary effects of the two treatments together including an earlier reduction in medication use. For some patient situations, seasonal rush SLIT desensitization could be a great stand-alone treatment.
For seasonal allergens, SLIT desensitization performed prior to your problematic season can put your immune system in a handy state of temporary tolerance right when you need it. This can help you cut down on your medication use, or provide additional symptom relief if you have not been able to control your symptoms enough with medication use. It can be used for one or multiple seasons each year.
If you have tried one of the FDA approved SLIT tablets for this type of treatment and found them to be too strong, our customizable method of rush SLIT dosing will offer you a safer and more tolerable option.
Allergenuity Health offers additional Rush SLIT treatment variations designed specifically for your situation if appropriate and on a case by case basis
We look forward to creating a full treatment plan that works as best as possible for you or your child. If there is a rush SLIT use that could potentially provide you with additional benefit or fit your goals, we will discuss its pros and cons with you. Though we primarily offer rush SLIT treatments for seasonal allergens, there are some instances in which designing a rush SLIT treatment with other types of allergens could be safe and appropriate.