New tablets providing alternative for allergy sufferers - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

New tablets providing alternative for allergy sufferers

Posted: Updated:
BURKE, Va. -

It is that time of year when those of you who suffer from seasonal allergies are really having a tough time. Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration approved new allergy tablets that offer an alternative to shots.

It has been decades since the medical community has had a new type of therapy to train our immune systems to become tolerant to things like grass or ragweed. For many of us, you just look at those things and your eyes start itching.

Allergy injections have been around for 100 years and have a 65 to 75 percent success rate in eventually freeing you of any allergy problems. Now there is another option.

I think this is a big deal in the field of allergy and clinical immunology,” said Dr. Talal Nsouli. “We've been waiting for years.”

There is no more waiting now. We traveled to Burke, Va., to find a nationally recognized allergy specialist to learn more about these brand new, once-a-day tablets that dissolve under your tongue and help your body build an immunity or tolerance to grass and ragweed pollens.

Pharmaceutical giant Merck developed Ragwitek and Grastek.

“It's a tiny tablet that dissolves in the mouth immediately,” Dr. Nsouli said. “As soon as you put it in, it vanishes.”

There are many over-the-counter options -- both in pill form and nasal spray. They are designed to help reduce the symptoms like sneezing. But the new tablets promise something more.

“Some patients do not like to take allergy shots,” said Dr. Nsouli. “[They] don’t have the time to come to the office to get allergy injections, therefore … they can take the tablets that are using the same mechanism. But instead of being injected, they are ingested.”

Dr. Nsouli is just starting to prescribe the allergy tabs. For those of you who don't like needles, the breakthrough pills offer the possibility of a permanent fix from your allergies.

The pills aren't cheap though. They cost $8 to $10 each and not all insurance companies will pay for them. And if you do take them, prepare to make a time commitment.

“They have to be taken every day on daily basis,” Dr. Nsouli said.

It is recommended they be taken for at least a year to a year and a half, according to the doctor. The idea is to desensitize your body to the allergens.

The pills have about a 35 to 38 percent effectiveness of permanently immunizing your body to the specific allergen. It's made for ragweed or grass pollen.

If you want them to work, you have to start 12 weeks prior to the season. So for instance, now would be the time to start taking the ragweed tablets since ragweed season doesn't began until mid-August.

These can also be very effective for pediatric patients.

  • Latest health newsMore>>

  • Surgeons find 10-year-old sex toy inside woman's body

    Surgeons find 10-year-old sex toy inside woman's body

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:49 AM EDT2014-07-25 14:49:35 GMT
    After complaining of various health problems, a Scottish woman was found to have a sex toy inside her vagina – and that it had been left there for 10 years. According to a report by STV News, the 38-year-old visited Aberdeen Royal Infirmary after contracting sepsis and experiencing severe weight loss and urinary incontinence. At the hospital, doctors conducted an X-ray of her abdomen, which showed the five-inch toy protruding into her bladder from her vagina. According to the Dail...
    After complaining of various health problems, a Scottish woman was found to have a sex toy inside her vagina – and that it had been left there for 10 years. According to a report by STV News, the 38-year-old visited Aberdeen Royal Infirmary after contracting sepsis and experiencing severe weight loss and urinary incontinence. At the hospital, doctors conducted an X-ray of her abdomen, which showed the five-inch toy protruding into her bladder from her vagina. According to the Dail...
  • Study: Acetaminophen doesn't reduce lower-back pain

    Study: Acetaminophen doesn't reduce lower-back pain

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:04 AM EDT2014-07-25 14:04:27 GMT
    A new study says taking medication like Tylenol or Panadol for back pain is as effective as taking a sugar pill. Researchers split 1600 participants into three groups. Each was given two unmarked boxes. One group received two boxes of acetaminophen with instructions to use the second box as needed. Another group got a box of acetaminophen and a second box of placebos. They also got the instructions to use the second box as needed. The third group received two boxes of placebos. Researchers to...
    A new study says taking medication like Tylenol or Panadol for back pain is as effective as taking a sugar pill. Researchers split 1600 participants into three groups. Each was given two unmarked boxes. One group received two boxes of acetaminophen with instructions to use the second box as needed. Another group got a box of acetaminophen and a second box of placebos. They also got the instructions to use the second box as needed. The third group received two boxes of placebos. Researchers to...
  • Delaware reports 1st case of mosquito virus

    Delaware reports 1st case of mosquito virus

    Friday, July 25 2014 6:52 AM EDT2014-07-25 10:52:59 GMT
    Public health officials say Delaware has recorded its first case of a mosquito-borne virus that has been spreading in the U.S. from the Caribbean.
    Public health officials say Delaware has recorded its first case of a mosquito-borne virus that has been spreading in the U.S. from the Caribbean.
Powered by WorldNow

WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
5151 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016
Main Number: (202) 244-5151
Newsroom: (202) 895-3000
fox5tips@wttg.com

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices