What is SLIT?
Updated: Dec 26, 2018
I finally started SLIT for my environmental allergies. But you may be asking yourself, what is SLIT exactly? Or maybe you are asking yourself why you have never heard of SLIT. Or you may even be wondering why you only knew about allergy shots for treating environmental allergies and are confused about why you haven't heard about SLIT.
So what is SLIT exactly?
It stands for sublingual immunotherapy. It consists of a liquid that is sprayed under your tongue once a day, held in your mouth for 2 minutes, and then swallowed normally followed by no eating or drinking for 10 minutes. And then you just go about your day.
What is SLIT used for?
It is mainly used to build a tolerance to environmental allergies, although it has been used for some foods as well before starting OIT (oral immunotherapy).
Who is a candidate for SLIT?
Anyone who suffers from environmental allergies! Especially those who are anaphylactic to the environment - because allergy shots will most likely cause them to go into anaphylactic shock while SLIT will not.
Is SLIT approved by the FDA?
No, it's not. But neither are allergy shots.
Is SLIT covered by insurance?
Unfortunately no. But allergy shots tend to be more expensive for most due to the consistent office visits.
Why haven't I heard of SLIT?
This is the sad part about how the world works. SLIT is done at home by yourself while allergy shots must be done in your allergist's office by a nurse. That means that your allergist makes no money at all from prescribing SLIT while your allergist makes tons of money by giving you allergy shots. That is the main reason sadly.
Is there a rest period?
Unlike allergy shots that require a minimum of a 30 minute rest period at your allergist's office, SLIT has no rest period. You just can't eat for 10 minutes after using the spray but that's it. It's like a spray and go type of thing. Feel free to go about your normal day after using SLIT.
How does SLIT work?
The "build-up" face consists of 4 sprays each with a different concentration. There are 4 steps in the build-up phase, so one spray bottle for each step. Each step lasts 3 weeks meaning that the build-up phase all together is 3 months. After the build-up phase you reach a maintenance dose which you continue with for about 3-5 years, just like with allergy shots. Except that you don't have to go to your doctor's office once a week for the next 5 years - the SLIT can be shipped directly to your home and you do it yourself at whatever time is most convenient for you. It is important to remember that SLIT must be taken at the same time everyday though.
How is SLIT stored?
The tiny spray bottles are kept in your fridge!
Still have questions about SLIT? Leave a comment, contact me through my website, or send me a message on Instagram or Facebook.