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Since its description by Noon in 1911, desensitization or allergen-specific immunotherapy (SIT) has been largely given by sub cutaneous injection in the treatment of allergic diseases. It remains the only treatment for allergic diseases aimed at the etiology. The development of sublingual route as an alternative to sub cutaneous injection, and of new forms of medication, has led to large-scale clinical trials, many of them performed with allergen tablets, particularly in the field of pollen allergy. These studies have confirmed that SIT is efficient in reducing allergic respiratory symptoms. Data on long term benefits and sustained efficacy after stopping treatment have also been published. These show an impact on the natural history of allergic disease and, in particular, a reduction in the risk of asthma in desensitized rhinitic subjects and in the acquisition of new sensitivities. The basic mechanisms of immunotherapy are becoming better understood and allow us to envisage improvements in this technique in the future. The sublingual route improves the risk/benefit ratio of desensitization and reduces the risk of serious side effects. These data suggest that the indications for SIT may be extended in a large number of patients with allergic respiratory diseases. Copyright © 2012 SPLF. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.


C Mailhol, A Didier. Allergen-specific immunotherapy in the treatment of pollen allergy]. Revue des maladies respiratoires. 2013 Feb;30(2):142-51

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PMID: 23419445

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