What Happens If You Stop Allergy Drops? Understanding the Implications

Manoukian, MD, FAAAI, FACAAI
February 25, 2024
June 20, 2024

Allergy drops, also known as sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT), have become an increasingly popular treatment for managing allergies. Unlike traditional allergy shots, SLIT offers a convenient and less invasive way to desensitize the body to allergens. However, many people wonder about the consequences of discontinuing this treatment. What happens if you stop allergy drops? This blog post aims to explore the implications of halting SLIT, the potential risks, and how to manage your allergies effectively.

What Are Allergy Drops?

Allergy drops involve placing small doses of allergens under the tongue to build tolerance over time. This method is particularly beneficial for those with allergies to pollen, dust mites, mold, and pet dander. SLIT has been shown to reduce allergy symptoms significantly and improve the quality of life for many sufferers.

The Science Behind Allergy Drops

SLIT works by gradually introducing your immune system to allergens, training it to become less reactive over time. This process, known as desensitization, helps reduce the severity of allergic reactions. Regular exposure to the allergen in controlled amounts helps your body build a tolerance, thereby minimizing symptoms.

Why Do People Stop Taking Allergy Drops?

There are several reasons why someone might stop taking allergy drops:

1. Perceived Improvement: Some individuals feel their symptoms have improved sufficiently and no longer see the need for continued treatment.

2. Convenience Issues: Despite being less invasive than shots, SLIT still requires daily administration, which some might find inconvenient.

3. Side Effects: Though generally mild, some people experience side effects such as mouth itching or gastrointestinal discomfort.

4. Cost: Depending on insurance coverage, the cost of allergy drops can be a deterrent for long-term use.

What Happens When You Stop Allergy Drops?

1. Return of Symptoms: The most immediate consequence of stopping allergy drops is the potential return of allergy symptoms. Without continued exposure to the allergen, your immune system may revert to its previous state, leading to a resurgence of symptoms.

2. Loss of Tolerance: Discontinuing SLIT can result in the loss of the tolerance built up over time. This means that allergens that were once manageable might again provoke strong reactions.

3. Increased Sensitivity: Some individuals may experience increased sensitivity to allergens, potentially leading to more severe reactions than before starting SLIT.

4. Interrupted Treatment: Stopping allergy drops can interrupt the treatment process, making it harder to achieve long-term relief from allergies.

Managing Allergies Post-SLIT

If you decide to stop taking allergy drops, it’s essential to have a plan in place to manage your symptoms. Here are some strategies to consider:

1. Environmental Controls: Implement measures to reduce your exposure to allergens, such as using air purifiers, regularly cleaning your home, and avoiding known triggers.

2. Medication: Over-the-counter antihistamines, nasal sprays, and eye drops can help manage symptoms. Consult with your doctor for the best options.

3. Alternative Therapies: Consider other forms of immunotherapy, such as allergy shots, if SLIT is no longer viable.

4. Diet and Lifestyle Changes: Some studies suggest that dietary changes and a healthy lifestyle can help reduce allergy symptoms. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, for instance, have anti-inflammatory properties that may benefit allergy sufferers.

The Role of HeyAllergy in Allergy Management

At HeyAllergy, we understand the challenges of managing allergies and the importance of personalized treatment plans. Our online telemedicine platform offers convenient access to allergy specialists who can help you navigate your treatment options and make informed decisions about your health.

Why Choose HeyAllergy?

1. Expert Consultation: Our team of experienced allergists provides personalized advice and treatment plans tailored to your specific needs.

2. Convenient Access: With our telemedicine platform, you can consult with specialists from the comfort of your home, eliminating the need for frequent office visits.

3. Comprehensive Care: From initial consultations to follow-up appointments, we offer comprehensive care to ensure you receive the best possible treatment for your allergies.

4. Support and Guidance: Our specialists are available to provide ongoing support and guidance, helping you manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life.

Take Control of Your Allergies Today

If you’re considering stopping allergy drops or need help managing your allergies, HeyAllergy is here to support you. Our innovative telemedicine platform makes it easy to connect with experts who can provide the care and advice you need. Don’t let allergies control your life. Book an appointment with HeyAllergy today and take the first step towards a symptom-free future.

FAQ About Stopping Allergy Drops

Will my allergy symptoms return immediately after stopping allergy drops? The return of allergy symptoms can vary from person to person. Some may experience a quick resurgence of symptoms, while others might not notice significant changes immediately. The timing largely depends on the duration of treatment and individual response.

Can stopping allergy drops cause worse allergies than before? Stopping allergy drops doesn't typically cause allergies to worsen beyond their original state. However, the relief and desensitization achieved through treatment may diminish over time, potentially leading to the return of previous allergy symptoms.

Is it possible to restart allergy drops after stopping them? Yes, it's possible to restart allergy drops after discontinuing them, but it's crucial to do this under the guidance of an allergist. You may need to start the desensitization process over, depending on how long the treatment was stopped.

What should I do if I want to stop taking allergy drops? If you're considering stopping allergy drops, consult with your allergist first. They can provide advice tailored to your specific situation and may suggest a gradual reduction or alternative treatments to manage your allergies.

Are there any long-term effects of stopping allergy drops prematurely? Stopping allergy drops prematurely may lead to a loss of the progress made in building tolerance to allergens. This could result in the need to restart treatment from the beginning or explore other allergy management strategies.

How long after stopping allergy drops will symptoms return? The timeline for the return of allergy symptoms varies. Some individuals may notice symptoms returning within weeks to months, while others may maintain tolerance for a longer period before noticing an increase in allergy symptoms.

Can lifestyle changes help maintain the benefits achieved with allergy drops after stopping them? While lifestyle changes alone may not fully maintain the desensitization achieved with allergy drops, they can complement your allergy management strategy. Avoiding known allergens and maintaining a healthy environment can help minimize symptoms.