21 July 2010
Grass pollen is a very common cause of allergic rhinitis and asthma. The only treatment targeting the underlying causes of allergy is immunotherapy (IT). Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) has been introduced to solve the problem of systemic reactions to subcutaneous IT (SCIT). This article evaluates the characteristics of the allergen extract, Staloral, in terms of practical administration, effectiveness, safety, and mechanism of action. Efficacy data were obtained from double-blind, placebo-controlled studies using Staloral in patients sensitized to grass pollen, while practical administration, cost-effectiveness, and mechanism of action data were provided by well designed studies. The efficacy and safety of Staloral, as demonstrated by review of published studies which used doses up to 1125 times those administered with SCIT, shows that this allergen extract has optimal characteristics for treating patients with seasonal allergies due to grass pollens. The main mechanism of action is the interaction between dendritic cells of the oral mucosa and the subsequent tolerance induced in T-cells.