Sublingual immunotherapy: a comprehensive review

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2006 May;117(5):1021-35. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2006.02.040.


Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) has been used with increasing frequency in Europe and is viewed with increasing interest by allergists in the United States. To address this interest, a Joint Task Force of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology's Immunotherapy and Allergy Diagnostic Committees reviewed the available literature on SLIT and prepared this report. The task force concluded that despite clear evidence that SLIT is an effective treatment, many questions remained unanswered, including effective dose, treatment schedules, and overall duration of treatment. Until these have been determined, an assessment of the cost/benefit ratio of the treatment cannot be made. SLIT does appear to be associated with few serious side effects, but it has not been administered in high-risk asthmatic patients, nor in the studies reviewed has it been administered as a mixture of non-cross-reacting allergens. Furthermore, there is currently no allergy extract approved for this use in the United States, nor is there a Current Procedural Terminology code for billing purposes. All of these factors should be given careful consideration by anyone contemplating initiating SLIT treatment for their allergic patients.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Sublingual*
  • Age Factors
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Desensitization, Immunologic* / adverse effects
  • Desensitization, Immunologic* / standards
  • Desensitization, Immunologic* / trends
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / economics
  • Hypersensitivity / epidemiology
  • Hypersensitivity / immunology
  • Hypersensitivity / therapy*
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Prospective Studies
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Risk Factors
  • Terminology as Topic


  • Immunosuppressive Agents