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University of Missouri Health Care News Releases
Allergy drops provide pain-free alternative to shots (AUDIO AVAILABLE)

April 12, 2010                                                                             Contact: Matt Splett
                                                                                                      Media Coordinator
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                    (573) 882-5663

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Allergy specialists at University of Missouri Health Care’s ENT and Allergy Center of Missouri are prescribing a new pain-free therapy called allergy drops to relieve the symptoms of allergy sufferers.

Allergy drops are a self-administered liquid medication placed under the tongue once a day to relieve common allergy symptoms such as a runny nose and sneezing. The liquid is formulated with small amounts of allergen extracts unique to each patient’s allergic profile.

Unlike traditional allergy shots, which require patients to receive weekly injections at their allergist’s clinic, allergy drops require no needles and can be taken at home.

“Allergy drops are a safe and equally effective alternative to traditional allergy shots,” said Al Barrier, M.D., an otolaryngologist who specializes in allergies and asthma with MU Health Care. “Patients taking allergy drops avoid the inconvenience of making a weekly trip to their doctor’s office and the pain associated with shot.”

Allergy drops typically bring allergy relief after a couple of months, while allergy shots may take up to a year. With both medications, patients can expect to continue the therapy for five to six years before finally stopping all allergy medications.

Barrier said there are rarely side effects to allergy drops. He prescribes them for patients of all ages. He said allergy drops are a popular treatment option for children, who often feel anxiety around needles.

Barrier said allergy drops have been used successfully in Europe for decades, although their adoption in the United States has been slow.

“Allergy drops are a new concept in this country,” said Barrier. “They have been endorsed by the World Health Organization, but have yet to be approved by the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration).

Barrier said at the ENT and Allergy Center of Missouri, allergy specialists always give patients a choice whether they want to receive allergy shot treatments or drops.

“Allergies are a way of life, but with the right treatment we can greatly improve a patient’s quality of life,” said Barrier.

University of Missouri Health Care’s network of hospitals, clinics and telehealth sites reaches across the state of Missouri. Each year more than 20,000 patients are cared for in its hospitals and more than 500,000 patients are treated in its clinics. University Hospital and Clinics, Children’s Hospital, Columbia Regional Hospital and Ellis Fischel Cancer Center are based in Columbia, Mo. University Hospital offers the area’s only Level I Trauma Center and burn intensive care unit. Children’s Hospital is mid-Missouri’s only comprehensive pediatric facility with more than 30 specialties. CRH provides the area’s most comprehensive medical team for women’s health and houses the Family Birth center and Level III neonatal intensive care unit. Dedicated solely to cancer, Ellis Fischel is the state’s designated cancer center and offers the region’s most comprehensive screening program. The health system also includes a long-term acute care facility, Missouri Rehabilitation Center, in Mount Vernon, Mo.

Audio Files

Al Barrier, M.D., otolaryngologist who specializes in allergy and asthma at MU Health Care

Why allergies are a problem in Missouri MP3 WAV
What are allergy drops? MP3 WAV
What makes spring allergies the worst MP3 WAV

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