Encyclopedia of Medical Immunology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Ian R. Mackay, Noel R. Rose, Dennis K. Ledford, Richard F. Lockey

Sublingual Immunotherapy

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-9194-1_531


Allergen immunotherapy; Allergen-specific desensitization; Allergy drops; Allergy immunotherapy; Hyposensitization; Immunotherapy


Sublingual immunotherapy involves the administration of specific allergens by placement of allergen extract in a liquid or tablet formulation under the tongue for 1–2 min followed by swallowing (Canonica et al. 2009) and is conducted for the purpose of lessening or preventing the allergic symptoms due to exposure to those specific allergens (Cox et al. 2011).


Conventional subcutaneous immunotherapy is an effective treatment option for many allergic diseases such as allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma, and Hymenoptera allergy. Despite the benefits of subcutaneous immunotherapy, not all individuals improve, significant time and expense may be involved, and the risk of adverse reactions, such as anaphylaxis, remains (Casale and Stokes 2011). Thus, other forms of immunotherapy have been explored, and sublingual immunotherapy is...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Calamita Z, Saconato H, Pela AB, et al. Efficacy of sublingual immunotherapy in asthma: systematic review of randomized-clinical trials using the Cochrane Collaboration method. Allergy. 2006;61:1162–72.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Canonica GW, Bousquet J, Casale T, et al. Sub-lingual immunotherapy: World Allergy Organization position paper. World Allergy Org J. 2009;2:233–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Casale TB, Stokes JR. Future forms of immunotherapy. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2011;127:8–15.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Casale TB, Canonica W, Bousquet J, et al. Recommendations for appropriate sublingual immunotherapy clinical trials. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2009;124:665–70.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cox L, Nelson H, Locke R, et al. Allergen immunotherapy: a practice parameter third update. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2011;127:S1–55.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Nieto A, Mazon A, Pamies R, et al. Sublingual immunotherapy for allergic respiratory diseases: an evaluation of meta-analyses. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2009;124:157–61.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Radulovic S, Calderon MA, Wilson D, et al. Sublingual immunotherapy for allergic rhinitis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;(12):Art. No.:CD002893.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Allergy and Pulmonary MedicineMayo ClinicJacksonvilleUSA