Almost Three-Quarters of Allergists Have Prescribed SLIT

Main barrier to sublingual immunotherapy is limitation of treating only one allergen

WEDNESDAY, April 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- More than 73 percent of U.S. allergists report prescribing sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT), according to research published online April 1 in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

Anita Sivam, D.O., from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, and Mike Tankersley, M.D., from the Tankersley Clinic, both in Memphis, surveyed allergists to examine current trends in subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT) and SLIT utilization. Data were included for 305 respondents; of these respondents, 268 practiced in the United States.

The researchers found that 90.7 and 73.5 percent of allergists practicing in the United States reported using SCIT and SLIT, respectively. Of those who had used SLIT, 11.2, 38.3, and 50.5 percent reported extensive, little, and some experience, respectively. Of those reporting SLIT use in the previous three years, 62.2, 18.1, 9.0, and 10.6 percent had placed one to 10, 11 to 20, 21 to 50, and more than 50 patients on SLIT, respectively. In the United States, 75.4 percent of allergists believe SLIT was safer than SCIT, but 78.0 percent felt that SLIT was less effective than SCIT. The main barrier to SLIT utilization was the limitation of treating only one allergen (73.5 percent).

"As the primary barrier for more widespread use of SLIT tablets is the limitation of treating to only one allergen, strategies for administering multiallergen SLIT tablets [require] more exploration and research," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to ALK.

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