Comparing Allergy Drops vs Shots: The Latest Information

It has been 8 years since I wrote my book, The Allergy and Asthma Solution (De Capo 2006 ), and after treating several thousand patients with allergy drops I am somewhat biased as to the tremendous benefit they provide for adults and children with environmental allergies and asthma. For many years, the allergy organizations have been reserved in their judgment about the effectiveness of allergy drops compared to allergy injections, but the jury is in and both have been shown to be effective treatments for allergic disease.

The Affordable Care Act(ACA) has put out a summary about the benefits and risks of both allergy treatments:

  • “In adults and children- both allergy shots and allergy drops improve allergy and mild asthma symptoms. Both shots and drops lessen the need to take allergy and asthma medications. In adults, shots and drops improve the quality of life. “
  • ” Researchers found: there is not enough research to know if allergy shots or allergy drops work better. The paper noted that both allergy shots and allergy drops are safe and side effects are mild.

My experience goes much further: I have done allergy injections for 7 years and allergy drops for 15 years- and I have to say allergy drops wins hands down!

Why Are Allergy Drops Better Than Shots?

The no-brainer is that no one likes getting a shot (especially children). The first thing they ask when they come to my office is: “Am I getting a shot?”

Another key factor is compliance: since the allergy drops are done at home, both adults and children don’t have to be hassled coming into the doctor’s office. I’ve found the compliance among my patients on drops to be over 90%. The medical research shows that allergy shots compliance is typically around 30%. This makes it clear: if you don’t finish the treatment you don’t get the significant or lasting benefits.

The other key factor that I wrote about in my book is that allergy drops are significantly safer than allergy shots. The sublingual oral route bypasses the allergic cells in the body so in most cases the patient on allergy drops doesn’t experience any side-effects. With allergy shots into the arm, it is common to not only get swelling in the area of the injection, but more dangerous systemic reactions can occur in random situations. In my experience, allergy drops are much safer.

The final, very important question is this: are they effective and which one is better than the other ? The ACA review clearly states both are effective and it has not been shown which one is better. The bottom line is that if you achieve high level potency in either approach it should work.

If You’re Interested in Drops Over Shots…

I’m excited to be involved in training doctors all over the United States in bringing allergy drops to their patients who so desperately want to be free of their allergies. Physicians can contact me here on my website for more information on bringing allergy drops into their practice.

- Dr. Dean Mitchell
Mitchell Medical Group, NYC

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