sublingual immunotherapy

A recent study has shown that a new sublingual immunotherapy tablet for house dust mite allergy is well tolerated and safe for use in children.


Dust mite allergy increases the risk of developing asthma. Allergy shots or allergen immunotherapy is a current treatment for dust mite allergy in which a small amount of allergen is injected into the patient to develop tolerance to the allergen and decrease the number of allergy attacks over time. However, allergy shots could sometimes result in severe or fatal reactions. A recent study has investigated the safety of a new alternative allergy treatment called sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) tablet for dust mite allergy in children. The tablets (MK-8237) contain allergen extracts from dust mites and are manufactured by Merck Company in the United States. The tablet is placed under the tongue until dissolved before swallowing.

Previous clinical trials have shown that MK-8237 was effective in reducing allergic symptoms, such as itchy swollen eyes and nasal congestion, in adults with dust mite-allergy after 24 weeks of treatment. To test whether the SLIT tablet is safe for use in children, the researchers tested two doses of MK-8237 tablets (tablet 6 and 12) in 195 children at 12 to 17 years of age who have been previously diagnosed with house dust mite allergy with or without asthma. The subjects were treated with a daily dose of MK-8237 for 28 days and observed for 30 minutes after each tablet administration for any reactions. Both MK-8237 dosages were well tolerated and safe as there were no life-threatening or serious adverse events reported during the study period. Local adverse reaction to the treatment that included itchy tongue, lip swelling, and throat irritation lasted from 1 to 43 minutes and the incidence of local reactions decreased over time. MK-8237 was also found to be safe for use in children with dust mite allergy-induced asthma and the treatment did not significantly worsen asthma symptoms.

This study provided evidence of the safety of SLIT MK-8237 tablets in treating dust mite allergy in children and supports the results of previous clinical trials.



Maloney J, Prenner BM, Bernstein DI, Lu S, Gawchik S, Berman G, Kaur A, Li Ziliang, Nolte H. Safety of house dust mite sublingual immunotherapy standardized quality tablet in children allergic to house dust mites. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. Published online on 6 November 2015. DOI: 10.1016/j.anai.2015.10.024






Written by Ana Victoria Pilar, PhD


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