Author(s): Di Bona D, Plaia A, Scafidi V, LetoBarone MS, Di Lorenzo G
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Abstract BACKGROUND: The benefit of sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) with grass allergens for seasonal allergic rhinitis has been extensively studied, but data on efficacy are still equivocal. OBJECTIVE: To assess the effectiveness of SLIT with grass allergens in the reduction of symptoms and medication in patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis to grass pollen. METHODS: Computerized bibliographic searches of MEDLINE (1995-2010) were supplemented by hand searches of reference lists. Studies were included if they were double-blind randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing SLIT to placebo and if they included patients with history of allergy to grass pollen treated with natural grass pollen extracts. Nineteen RCTs with 2971 patients were analyzed. The outcomes assessed were symptom and medication scores. RESULTS: Using a random-effects model, SLIT with grass allergens significantly reduces both symptoms (standardized mean difference, -0.32; 95\% CI, -0.44 to -0.21) and medication use (standardized mean difference, -0.33; 95\% CI, -0.50 to -0.16) compared with placebo. The treatment is more efficacious in adults than in children. Prolonging duration of preseasonal treatment for more than 12 weeks improves the treatment efficacy. CONCLUSION: This meta-analysis found that SLIT with grass allergens is effective in patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis compared with placebo. The benefit is clinically modest, and criteria are needed to identify patients most likely to benefit from SLIT. Copyright (c) 2010 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.
This article was published in J Allergy Clin Immunol
and referenced in Journal of Allergy & Therapy