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Oralair, new hay fever medication, approved by FDA

Seasonal overlap could mean extra misery for people

Seasonal overlap could mean extra misery for people with allergies, experts say Credit: HealthDay

Attention all hay fever sufferers: relief may now be as simple as dissolving a tablet under your tongue once a day.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved a new medication, Oralair, to treat hay fever caused by certain grass pollens in people ages 10 through 65.

Containing a freeze-dried mixture of  Kentucky bluegrass, orchard, perennial ryegrass, Sweet vernal grass and timothy extracts, Oralair is the first sublingual (beneath the tongue) allergen extract approved in the United States.

“While there is no cure for grass pollen allergies, they can be managed through treatment and avoiding exposure to the pollen,” said Dr. Karen Midthun, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, in a release provided by the FDA.

Midthun added that the introduction of Oralair provides an alternative to the previous treatment path, which included receiving allergy shots at a medical facility. Instead, after your first dose, which must be taken at your health care provider’s office to monitor for adverse side effects, you can take Oralair on your own at home.

The announcement cites that the new drug must be taken for four months before the start of the grass pollen season and then be continued throughout the season to be effective. So while it may be too late to start taking Oralair this year, it is definitely an option for next year’s allergy season.

For more information about Oralair, please contact your physician’s office.

What do you think of this new alternative to traditional allergy shots? Let us know in the comments field below.