Asthma ‘drops’ may treat allergic asthma in kids
Children who suffer from asthma triggered by allergens - so-called allergic asthma—may benefit from an “under the tongue” therapy designed to increase tolerance to offending allergens, and, in turn, decrease asthma symptoms and medication use.
Research shows that sublingual immunotherapy, or SLIT, reduces symptoms and use of rescue medication use in children with allergic asthma, according to a report in the medical journal Chest. SLIT involves the oral administration of allergen extracts, either through soluble tablets or drops.
Dr. Giorgio Walter Canonica, of the University of Genoa, Italy, and colleagues pooled data from nine randomized, controlled clinical trials in order to assess the efficacy of SLIT in the treatment of allergic asthma in children.
A total of 441 children between the ages of 3 and 18 years were included in the analysis; 232 received SLIT and 209 received inactive placebo.
Treatment with SLIT resulted in a significant reduction in both symptoms of allergic asthma and medication use, Canonica and colleagues report.
The majority of side effects associated with SLIT were mild and self-resolving. The most common side effects were mouth symptoms, nose and eye symptoms, and stomach symptoms. No lethal or severe systemic reactions were reported.
Based on the evidence, Canonica and colleagues say SLIT is clinically effective in children with allergic asthma. However, additional research is needed to determine the most effective dose and regimen of administration.
“Also, clinical trials in children younger than 3 years of age should be designed and conducted to fully appreciate the possible preventive effect.”
SOURCE: Chest, March 2008.
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