SCIT & SLIT
There are two methods of immunology currently used to treat chronic allergies, subcutaneous immunotherapy treatment (SCIT) or sublingual immunotherapy treatment (SLIT). The method of treatment most appropriate for a patient is determined by the diagnosing healthcare professional and the individual patient’s preference.
Subcutaneous Immunotherapy Treatment (SCIT)
Subcutaneous Immunotherapy Treatment (SCIT) is the traditional method of allergy immunology. Its history dates back to the late 19th and early 20th century, and was the predominant method of immunotherapy in the 20th century. In SCIT, injections of allergens are administered in a medically controlled environment and followed by an observation period of a minimum of 30 minutes. These pain-free injections are given in order to subcutaneously (under the skin) administer the allergen on the arm between the elbow and shoulder. This method has a long history of efficacy and has been used to treat allergic disease around the globe. We have over 4 decades of experience in this particular field. Depending on the patient and the particular allergen/s this is the only method of treatment. For example, venom immunotherapy is only done via SCIT.
Treatment sets are custom made named patient products that are prescribed by physicians. The treatment sets are delivered to their practice ready for patient treatment. Injections are given weekly to begin with and then progress to monthly after a number of weeks.
Sublingual Immunotherapy Treatment (SLIT)
Sublingual Immunotherapy Treatment (SLIT) is the more modern form of immunology treatment and has been our focus for the past decade. In this method, drops are administered under the patient’s tongue and swallowed. SLIT is increasing in practice as drops can be self-administered at home. In addition this method allows the body to become tolerant of the allergen sublingually and through the stomach lining, as opposed to directly via the bloodstream in SCIT, eliminating the risk of anaphylactic reactions. With endorsement from the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Cochrane Collaboration & over 60 double blind trials proving safety and efficacy, SLIT gained momentum and recognition as an effective treatment option.
SLIT treatment is being adopted at an alarming rate in Australia and abroad due to the safety and efficacy of the treatment. In the past two years we have seen the Australian market make a major shift from predominantly injections (SCIT) to a ratio closer to 50/50 between SCIT and SLIT. Both treatment methods offer proven efficacy and it is ultimately up to the physician and the patient to decide together what is the best form of treatment for the individual.