Most patients take allergy drops each day for as long as five years, but it varies according to the severity of your allergies and the seasonality. Most patients report improvement within 3-6 months; the soonest we have seen has been under 2 weeks after starting treatment.
A benefit of immunotherapy—whether it’s allergy shots or allergy drops—is that it can alter the course of allergic disease by treating the root cause, not just the symptoms. Key studies have already been conducted to explore the long-lasting effect of allergy drops, including a 10-year prospective study on children with asthma that demonstrated drops maintained effectiveness long after treatment had stopped.
The key to ensuring the effects last is compliance, which is an additional benefit of allergy drops. Studies show that patients taking allergy drops tend to stay with their treatment 90 percent of the time, which is significantly higher than with other routes of treatment. Why is compliance so much higher? Patients appreciate the convenience of being able to take their drops wherever they are, eliminating the need to make frequent clinic visits and the savings in time and money that result. They also tend to see improvement within one to three months, which motivates them to continue a treatment that leaves them continuing to feel better.
But even the best treatments won’t work if you don’t stay with them. Like allergy shot treatment, it’s important to stay with allergy drop treatment until your doctor has determined treatment can be discontinued. A typical patient will continue treatment for four to five years, depending upon the severity of allergic problems.
Continuing with your treatment will help you reap the long-term rewards. A recent study showed that the use of allergy drops with children can significantly lessen the development of asthma later in life—as much as an 80 percent decrease than found in patients who haven’t had immunotherapy. These findings are consistent with the Pediatric Asthma Treatment study done by leading European researchers who found similar results with injection therapy.
Cost is an issue since health insurance will not yet accept this as a covered service. We charge $20 per week for this therapy, less than most patients co-pays. Coupled with less frequent office visits and co-pays, the rising cost of gasoline, and less time away from work and family, allergy drops is often significantly less expensive than allergy shots.