SCIT vs. SLIT
There are two methods of immunotherapy currently used to treat chronic allergies, subcutaneous immunotherapy treatment (SCIT) or sublingual immunotherapy treatment (SLIT). Both treatment options utilise the same biological principles to provide effective treatment of allergy symptoms. The method of treatment most appropriate for a patient is determined by the diagnosing healthcare professional.
Subcutaneous Immunotherapy Treatment (SCIT) is the traditional method of allergy immunology. SCIT has a clinical history of over 100 years. Sublingual Immunotherapy Treatment (SLIT) is the more modern form of immunology treatment, and has become increasingly popular in the past 20 years. Both treatment options utilise the same biological principles to provide effective treatment of allergy symptoms.
Subcutaneous Immunotherapy Treatment (SCIT)
Subcutaneous Immunotherapy Treatment (SCIT) is the traditional method of allergy immunology. SCIT has a clinical history of over 100 years. 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 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. 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 for each patient as prescribed by the physician. The treatment sets are delivered to the prescribing doctor’s practice ready for patient treatment. Injections are given weekly to begin with and then progress to monthly after a number of weeks.
Within SCIT there are a few different variations of products including Aqueous, Alum, and Allergoids. These different variations all have their own respective pros and cons. One of our team would be happy to explain these differences and answer any questions you may have.
Sublingual Immunotherapy Treatment (SLIT)
Sublingual Immunotherapy Treatment (SLIT) is the more modern form of immunology treatment, and has become increasingly popular in the past 20 years. 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 exponential rate in Australia and abroad for both paediatric and adult patients due to the safety and convenience of the treatment. There are some companies that offer tablets for immunotherapy as well. Tablets can be a good option for some patients. However, the range of available tablet products is extremely limited and they come with a premium price tag.