Adult patients take Odactra, made by ALK, at home, although the first tablet must be taken under doctor’s supervision. This form of treatment is known as sublingual immunotherapy or SLIT for short.
Previously, the only form of immunotherapy for house dust mite allergies involved going to the doctor’s office for weekly or monthly allergy shots.
“If someone is traveling a lot and they don’t have time to go for shots, they can take this at home,” Dr. Jonathan Bernstein of Cincinnati told Allergic Living.
Odactra exposes the person’s immune system to dust mite allergens gradually in order to increase tolerance and reduce symptoms such as congestion, sneezing, runny nose, itching and watery eyes.
“The data demonstrate there is improved reduction in clinical symptoms after the use of the therapy,” said Bernstein, who was involved in research for the medication.
Studies involving 2,500 people were conducted in the U.S., Canada and Europe. Participants taking Odactra reported their symptoms were reduced 16 to 18 percent when compared to those who took a placebo.
The tablet was approved for adults aged 18 to 65 March 2017. Patients should speak to their doctor if they think this might be a good treatment plan for them.
In Canada, the drug is available at pharmacies under the name Acarizax.