Sublingual Immunotherapy

Sublingual Immunotherapy

Until recently, the only way to administer allergy extract in the United States was by injections or allergy shots at the doctor's office. Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT) is an injection-free procedure that offers the patients the freedom to treat their allergies on their schedules in their homes.

Sublingual is the medical term for "under the tongue."

Common questions about SLIT

What is Sublingual Immunotherapy?
Sublingual immunotherapy is a process that reduces a person's reactivity to an allergen. A dosage of the food extract is placed under the patient's tongue, held there for 2 minutes, and then swallowed. Over time, the dose is gradually escalated so that the patient can tolerate more of the food with a decreased likelihood for an allergic reaction. Patients must be able to hold drops under their tongue for 2 minutes before swallowing to be successful candidates for sublingual immunotherapy. Most children 5 years and older can master this technique.

Will SLIT be covered by my insurance?
All insurers and policies are different. Because this is a new treatment, we recommend checking with your insurance provider directly. We anticipate that the dose escalation visits should be covered (copayments, deductibles and coinsurances will apply as per your insurance plan) and will be billed as "rapid desensitization". We do not believe that the insurers will pay for the peanut extract because this procedure is considered an "off-label" use of the extract. In other words, the extract is FDA approved for allergy testing, but not yet for SLIT. The charge for the SLIT extract is $660 for a six month supply (or $110 a month) payable prior to starting food immunotherapy.