For every 100 million doses of allergy drops administered, there is approximately 1 case of nonfatal anaphylaxis. So while the chances of a severe adverse reaction to Nectar Prescription Allergy Drops are rare, it is still not zero. We want our patients to be prepared for any emergency scenarios, even if they are unlikely.
Do you need an Epi-Pen if you’re taking Nectar Allergy Drops?
The risk of anaphylaxis is rare. A recent study showed that of the estimated 1 billion SLIT doses administered worldwide from 2000 - 2011, there have been 11 reported cases of anaphylaxis (all nonfatal). ¹
While there is a low risk of severe adverse reactions to allergy immunotherapy drops, it is important to highlight the safety profile of this allergy treatment and our reasoning for prescribing epinephrine autoinjectors, which primarily stems from an abundance of caution.
Is allergy immunotherapy (AIT) safe?
Yes! Allergy immunotherapy is safe. It has been clinically practiced for over 100 years, primarily as subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT), better known as allergy shots. Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT), such as Nectar Prescription Allergy Drops, has been utilized since the 1980s and in fact, the primary reason for proposing and studying alternate routes of AIT beyond allergy shots was to improve the safety and convenience of the patient.
This means that SLIT has a better safety profile than its older sister SCIT. This is because oral exposure to your allergens is less likely to lead to an adverse inflammatory immune response. ²
What are the side effects of allergy immunotherapy? Should I be worried?
Between 40-75% of patients receiving SLIT experience mild, short-lived local reactions such as tingling or itching of the mouth. ³ And in most cases, this generally resolves within 1 to 2 weeks.
In rare cases, mild nausea or other infrequent, short-lived abdominal discomfort can occur. As long as these symptoms are minor and resolve quickly, most patients are able to continue their drops as prescribed.
In very rare cases, more significant side effects such as breathing difficulties or swelling may be experienced. One 2012 review documented 11 reported cases of nonfatal anaphylaxis out of 1 billion SLIT doses given since 2000. ⁴ In other words, there is approximately 1 case of nonfatal anaphylaxis per 100 million doses administered.
If any reaction is worrisome, use your epinephrine autoinjector and immediately dial 911 or proceed to the nearest emergency room.
So, why do you recommend an Epi-Pen?
While the chances of a severe adverse reaction to Nectar Prescription Allergy Drops are rare, it is still not zero. We want our patients to be prepared for any emergency scenarios, even if they are unlikely. So, when you receive your prescription from a licensed provider, they will also write a separate one for an epinephrine auto-injector, which you will be able to pick up from your local pharmacy. That said, the Epi-Pen is not included in the cost of the Nectar treatment, but your insurance will likely cover all or a portion of the expense.
If you have any other questions regarding this topic, reach out to our Support team at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re always around to help.
¹ Calderón, M A et al. “Sublingual allergen immunotherapy: mode of action and its relationship with the safety profile.” Allergy vol. 67,3 (2012): 302-11. doi:10.1111/j.1398-9995.2011.02761.x
² James, Christine, and David I Bernstein. “Allergen immunotherapy: an updated review of safety.” Current opinion in allergy and clinical immunology vol. 17,1 (2017): 55-59. doi:10.1097/ACI.0000000000000335
³ Calderón, M A et al. “Sublingual allergen immunotherapy: mode of action and its relationship with the safety profile.” Allergy vol. 67,3 (2012): 302-11. doi:10.1111/j.1398-9995.2011.02761.x
⁴ Calderón, M A et al. “Sublingual allergen immunotherapy: mode of action and its relationship with the safety profile.” Allergy vol. 67,3 (2012): 302-11. doi:10.1111/j.1398-9995.2011.02761.x