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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Allergy pills instead of allergy shots? Oh yeah!!!!!

If you have allergies like me, just looking at this picture may make your eyes water!! You just know that if you walked through this path, your eyes would water, your nose would run, your throat would start to itch, and you would start making LOTS of mucus. (And possibly start coughing and have to use your asthma inhaler.) 

Did you know that 1 in 5 people in the U.S. have allergies? And 2 1/2 million of us get allergy shots every week or every month?! That's A LOT of time spent at Asthma Doc's office!!

I was excited to watch the NBC Nightly News last night and see a story from Dr. Nancy Snyderman. There are TWO new allergy pills being reviewed by the FDA, they are already being used in Europe. If you suffer from grass allergies, this may be worth checking into. The only drawback is that the pills just treat broad grass allergies. 

With allergy shots (immunotherapy), the serum covers more allergens and they can be personalized for better results. All three of my teenagers have had/are currently having allergy shots. They are all allergic to multiple triggers (grass, trees, bushes, flowers, cats, dogs, horses, etc,)  So each teenager has had a different serum created just for them and what they are allergic to.

  If you have grass allergies and hate needles, or have a hard time getting to the allergy doctor's office every week for allergy shots, the pills may be a good choice for you. The FDA just approved a daily pill, (Oralair) for grass allergies. You place the pill under your tongue to melt. Today (December 12th) the FDA is reviewing, Grastek.  

They may not be the best choice for everyone, so talk to your doctor. I'm not sure how they are monitored, but I know that with my teenager's allergy shots, they have to be given in the doctor's office every week. We also have to wait 20 minutes after the shots because there is a chance you can have an allergic reaction (anaphylaxis.) 
I've seen anaphylaxis once with my oldest son (after allergy shots) , and I never want to go through that again as long as I live. It was terrifying! :(

So, pills or allergy shots to treat allergies? Well, since there is no one-size-fits-all treatment for allergies and asthma, it may work for you or your children. But it probably won't work for my daughter, since she has many more allergies than just grass. But for the rest of you, do the happy dance!!  I would be easier to take a pill every day rather than driving to Asthma Doc's office and getting allergy shots once a week....

 (And you might want to call your doctor and pharmacy and see how soon the pills we be in the pharmacy. It may also be a good idea to see if your insurance will cover the pills.) 


  1. Hi Andrea,
    Hope you are well! We had a short exchange about the startup, LifeGuard Games, a while back, and I just want to follow up.
    We would like to invite you to our exclusive beta testing of our first app for children with asthma, Wellapets.

    Would love to hear from you! Feel free to email our CEO,

    Wish you a wonderful holiday!

    1. Sorry I should have clarified: We are conducting beta testing to gather users and experts' feedback on the app, so we can perfect our game and make it most fun and effective. We hope to leverage your experience and expertise! All you need is a smartphone, and we will guide you through downloading the app once it is ready for you.
      Best, Nancy

    2. Hi Nancy,

      It looks like a cute app, but
      I don't play games on my phone :(

      Maybe I'll have to try this one, or blog about it and see if anyone else wants to try it!