Allergy drops offer relief, but await FDA approval

March 29, 2013 2:45:46 PM PDT
It's allergy season and experts confirm that 2013 allergies are starting sooner, and lasting longer.

For some people, getting shots provides relief.

But what if you could skip the shots for drops instead?

A study in this week's journal of the American Medical Association says that allergy drops work pretty well to get rid of symptoms.

It's an alternative used in Europe, but hasn't been approved by the FDA here in the U.S.

Toya Asbury learned about them four years ago for her allergies and asthma.

As a business consultant, time is money. Weekly doctor visits for a shot?

"Waiting to get the shot, waiting for the shot to take effect, there's no way I could fit that into my schedule," Asbury said.

Now, three times a day, out comes the drops and into the mouth.

One drop, done at home, a sugary taste, quick, and with a very low risk of reactions, unlike an allergy shot.

Patients who take a shot have to wait a half hour after because they could have a life-threatening reaction.

"You've got a whole bunch of people who are afraid of shots for home use, less travel time," said Dr. Clifford Bassett of Allergy Asthma Care of New York.

Drops and shots both desensitive you slowly to allergy and ashma triggers.

The FDA told us, "The FDA can only review applications that are submitted to the agency. We cannot confirm the existence of or comment on any product applications."

Cameron Drew got rid of his watery eyes with shots. He doesn't mind the visits to the doctor.

"They ask how you are, any symptoms. Doing it at home, how often do you see the doctor?"

Allergy specialists can use the drops 'off label', that is, without FDA approval.

Toya researched the drops before starting and felt that the benefits seen in Europe were convincing.

Dr. Bassett told me he thinks the drops will be coming to an allergist near you in the next few years.