Skip Navigation
the johns hopkins sinus center
johns hopkins medicine

HOME   |   OTOLARYNGOLOGY HOME   |   CONTACT US  |   MAPS & DIRECTIONS   |   REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT   |   FAQs   |    SEARCH

space
space
our teampatient informationsinus conditionssurgical proceduresallergypediatric sinusitusResearchresources
shadowshadow
left nav

Allergy

pipe

» Evaluation and Diagnosis

pipe

» Treatment

pipe

» Sublingual Immunotherapy

pipe

» Pediatric Allergy

left nav
white
Sinus Center > Allergy > Sublingual Immunotherapy
Print This Page
Sublingual Immunotherapy
white

What is sublingual immunotherapy?
Immunotherapy treats the cause of allergies by giving small doses of what a person is allergic to, which increases “immunity” or tolerance to the allergen and reduces the allergic symptoms. Unlike injection immunotherapy, which is given as shots, sublingual immunotherapy is given as drops under the tongue.

How does the process work?
The first step is to confirm a patient’s allergies through allergy testing. Then, a custom-mixed vial of drops is prepared for the patient. The patient takes drops under the tongue daily. During the first four months, called the “escalation phase,” the dosage is gradually increased. After that, in the “maintenance phase,” the patient takes the same dose of drops each day.

Is sublingual immunotherapy safe?
It is very safe, for both adults and children. Patients take the drops in the convenience of their own homes instead of going to the doctor’s office every week for shots.  The World Health Organization (WHO) has endorsed sublingual immunotherapy as a viable alternative to injection immunotherapy.

Does it work?
Many published scientific studies have shown that it significantly reduces allergy symptoms.

How long must I continue the treatment?
We recommend that patients keep using the drops for three to five years so that the body will build up a lasting “immunity.”

How do I start sublingual immunotherapy?
Call Dr. Sandra Lin’s office (410-614-6243) for allergy testing and an evaluation to see if you are likely to benefit from sublingual immunotherapy. If you are, the vials take one to two weeks to mix. Dr. Lin will see you once or twice per year to monitor your progress. During therapy, when your last vial is half empty, please call our office to order your new vial.

What are the costs? Will it be covered by insurance?
Most insurance plans do not cover sublingual immunotherapy. It is considered an FDA "off-label" use.  It is important to note that when compared with the cost of allergy shots, sublingual immunotherapy may be a more economical choice.

The cost is approximately $1.50 per day during the first year and $1 per day after that.

Locations
• Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center
• Johns Hopkins at Green Spring Station

Appointments and Information
Sandra Lin, M.D.
410-614-6243

space
space
space
space

Baltimore Sinus Surgery and Sinus Treatments include
Endoscopic Sinus Surgery, Turbinate Reduction, Surgical Septoplasty, Revision Sinus Surgery, Orbital Decompression, CSF Leaks Closure, Tear Duct Surgery and Sinuplasty
.
Contact us regarding sinus treatment and sinus surgery options.

© 2008 Johns Hopkins Medicine, All Rights Reserved.