In recent decades, sublingual allergy drops have grown in popularity. They are an alternative to subcutaneous allergy shots, which many people fear.
I’m an allergy patient and took allergy drops for over 1 year. Below, I’ll share if you can buy sublingual allergy drops online
The short answer is that you cannot buy sublingual allergy drops online. You may be able to find “allergy relief” products in the form of drops, such as antihistamines. However, allergy drops are a form of immunotherapy and complicated to produce. In most cases, a board-certified allergist will order custom-mixed drops unique to each patient’s allergy.
Why You Can’t Buy Sublingual Allergy Drops Online
If you were to look for sublingual allergy drops online, you might find a few options to purchase. Check the ingredients to understand what the product is.
It might contain soothing essential oils or an antihistamine (like many eye drops). The options online might be labeled as “sublingual drops” but they might use a different definition than what’s used in medicine.
If you’re looking for allergy drops as a potential cure for allergies, then they should be prescribed by a physician.
Let’s take a closer look at two common terms.
- Allergy shots (subcutaneous immunotherapy)
- Allergy drops (sublingual immunotherapy)
Allergy shots and drops have a similar aim; desensitization. Both reduce allergic symptoms by way of repetitive exposure to allergens.
The main difference between them is that allergy shots are injections and allergy drops are administered under the tongue. Another difference is that allergy shots are Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved, while allergy drops aren’t approved (though there are certain sublingual tablets that have been approved in recent years).
Allergy drops also include a form of sweetener that improves the taste.
What Sublingual Allergy Drops ARE NOT
- The same as cortisone shots – these are steroid shots that temporarily reduce inflammation
- The same as anti-histamine – anti-histamines temporarily reduce allergic response
- A quick fix – allergy drops take 6 months to take effect and several years to provide maximum benefit
- Better than allergy shots – studies show that allergy shots may be more effective
- Covered by health insurance – because they aren’t FDA approved (minus tablets) and usually custom, allergy drops are priced at a premium.
- Dangerous – allergy drops are relatively safe, although your allergist will require you to carry an epi-pen
Importance Of An Allergy Test Before Sublingual Allergy Drops
If you are considering allergy drops, your first action should be an allergy test (read details of my allergy test). Sublingual allergy drops are usually custom-made to each person’s allergies. If you don’t know what you’re allergic to, allergy drops won’t be as effective.
For example, I react to many environmental allergens including pollen, dust, mold, and pets. When my doctor confirmed my allergic reactions with a skin test, he ordered custom-mixed vials that contained everything I was allergic to.
He also put me on a dosing schedule to ensure my safety.
How Allergy Drops Work
Once you confirm your allergies, your doctor can share options for treatment. For people with minor allergies, an antihistamine may be all that’s needed.
For people with moderate-to-severe allergies, allergy drops might be the best option.
It will take several weeks for your allergist to order the custom vials of allergy drops (in some cases your allergist might prescribe a sublingual tablet instead of drops).
- You will place drops under your tongue daily
- Over time the dose and concentration will increase
- After 6-9 months you should reach maintenance dose (no longer increasing the dose)
- You will continue maintenance dose for several years or until you no longer react to the allergens.
Allergy drops, similar to allergy shots, work to re-train your immune system. The process is the closest option to a cure for allergies and the majority of patients achieve significant relief.
Although allergy shots are FDA approved and are shown to provide more relief, many people prefer allergy drops because they are more convenient and require fewer office visits. For this reason, and due to improved methods, allergy drops are becoming very popular as an alternative to drops.
My Year With Allergy Drops
I used allergy drops for 1 year. My first allergist tested me for 20 aeroallergens and decided that allergy drops were the best option for me.
He ordered custom-mixed drops, and a few weeks later I began the “build-up” phase. I took 1 drop each night for several weeks, then increased the dose to 2 drops. This process continued for 1 year.
I did receive some benefit from the allergy drops but it wasn’t until I moved and found a new allergist did I learn that I was allergic to many more substances.
If allergy drops were to work, I’d need a new mixture containing approximately 100 pollens, molds, pets, and dust that I was allergic to. Rather than continue with drops, my new allergist advised that I was best suited for allergy shots.
Allergy shots have been a good decision for my situation. If I were allergic to only a few substances, allergy drops would be a much more convenient option for treatment.
My symptoms have improved about 80% with allergy shots and my quality of life has increased a lot.
Allergy drops might be available to purchase online. It doesn’t mean they are the same allergy drops you’ll find at a medical office. In fact, to benefit from allergy drops you’ll need to be tested first, then your doctor will be able to order a custom-made mixture of allergy drops.
Allergy drops are not FDA approved and medical researchers continue to study their effectiveness, especially compared to standardized allergy shots. Because allergy drops are becoming more popular, there’s a good chance your allergist will offer shots, drops, or tablets (tablets work similar to drops and are placed under the tongue).
It’s important to understand that allergy drops and shots are not the same as a steroid shot or cortisone shot. Allergy drops are natural, comprised of aeroallergens that you react to, and have the ability to cure allergic response by re-training the immune system.
Remember, they are a time and financial investment – they won’t work overnight and most people receive a significant improvement in their symptoms.
If you think allergy drops are right for you, read my other article on allergy drops!