Seasonal allergies cause itchy eyes, sneezing, sinus congestion or runny noses in millions of people. Many seek relief from a variety of products or allergy shots. Now there’s an easier solution—once-a-day allergy pills that are simply placed under the tongue where they dissolve slowly. In April, the US Food and Drug Administration approved GRASTEK® for grass pollen allergies and Ragwitek® for short ragweed pollen allergies, both manufactured by Merck. Oralair, manufactured by Stallergenes S.A., was approved to treat grass pollen allergies.
These medications are for long-term treatment of allergies. Both GRASTEK and Ragwitek are started three months before the allergy season begins; Oralair is begun four months beforehand. The first dose is given in the physician’s office, where the patient is observed for adverse reactions, such as anaphylaxis and uncontrolled asthma.