Efficacy and safety of sublingual immunotherapy

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To review the available published data concerning the use of sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) in respiratory allergy to primarily evaluate the clinical efficacy and safety of the treatment and to secondarily consider the mechanisms of action and any unresolved questions.

Data Sources:

Articles in the medical literature (starting from 1986 up to November 2003) derived from searching the MEDLINE database with the keywords sublingual immunotherapy, respiratory allergy, asthma, and rhinitis. Sources included review articles, randomized controlled clinical trials, postmarketing surveillance studies, and relevant reports from meeting proceedings.

Study Selection:

Articles concerning safety, efficacy, and mechanisms of SLIT published in English-language, peer-reviewed journals.


SLIT proved effective and safe in adults and children. As with traditional subcutaneous immunotherapy, SLIT has long-lasting efficacy and a preventive effect on new sensitizations.


SLIT is a viable alternative to subcutaneous immunotherapy. Its use in pediatric patients seems to be particularly promising.


Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2004;93:3-12.

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