Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy is one of the most effective means of treating allergies and asthma, often resulting in near complete relief of symptoms. Immunotherapy treats the underlying cause of the allergic reaction, slowly allowing your body to eventually better tolerate the allergens that trigger your symptoms.

Immunotherapy is a type of preventative treatment for an allergic response to allergens such as pollens, dust mites, molds, and animal dander. Immunotherapy treats the underlying cause of the allergic reaction while decongestants and antihistamines only treat the symptoms. Immunotherapy involves administering gradually increasing doses of the allergens to the allergic patient. This gradual introduction of the allergens helps your immune system to biuld up your own natural immunity or tolerance, making you less allergic.This reduces the patient's allergic reactions without medications.

The Steps to Immunotherapy

  1. Allergy skin testing reveals allergens that are causing allergic symptoms.
  2. Based on your skin testing results, a Board Certified Allergist/Immunologist developes your personalized prescription to begin immunotherapy. The prescription consists of carefully calculated doses of allergy extracts. Allergy extracts are scientifically produced allergen substances that are approved by the FDA for subcutaneous injection purposes.  
  3. Once your personal allergy extract prescription has been prepared, you will begin a series of gradual administrations, either by injection or by mouth. 

Two Types Of Immunotherapy Available   

Allergy & Asthma Specialists offers two forms of Immunotherapy: Subcutaneous Immunotherapy (SCIT) is also known as allergy shots, and Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT) means drops under your tongue.

Comparing SCIT to SLIT

Subcutaneous Immunotherapy (SCIT)

 Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT)

Safe, effective treatment for allergies that involves administering gradually increasing doses to help your immune system build up a natural tolerance to allergens.

Safe, effective treatment for allergies that involves administering gradually increasing doses to help your immune system build up a natural tolerance to allergens.

Allergy symptoms begin to subside in 3 – 6 months.  The treatment is typically completed in 5 years.

Allergy symptoms begin to subside in 3 – 6 months.  The treatment is typically completed in 5 years.

Administered by injection at the doctor’s office.  Requires a 30 minute wait to monitor for an allergic reaction.

Administered by placing drops under your tongue at your home.

Injections are required from 1 - 2 times per week during build up to once a month for maintenance.

Drops are administered daily.

Produced using extract approved by the FDA.

Produced using extract approved by the FDA for SCIT.

Extract Cost:  Cost for a six month supply can range from $300 - $1000.  Usually covered by most insurance plans but deductibles, co-payments and co-insurances apply as defined by your insurance plan.

Extract Cost:  Cost is $110 per month with the extract sold in six month supplies.  Cost NOT covered by insurance plans but is a qualified medical expense for most HSA and FSA plans.  Payment plans are available.

Injection Cost:  Typically covered by most insurance plans but deductibles, co-payments and  co-insurances apply.

Not applicable.

Which type of immunotherapy is right for you?

With both types of immunotherapy being effective, the decision between SCIT and SLIT often comes down to a question of safety, cost, and convenience. 

Is the out-of-pocket cost of SLIT worth the convenience? How much will my insurance pay for SCIT?

If you need assistance with comparing your costs, contact the billing department at (610) 825-5800  option 6.