Background Although sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) has been used with increasing frequency, the data on the efficacy of SLIT in pediatric asthma are limited.
Aim The aim of our study was to evaluate the efficacy and the safety of high-dose SLIT given pre-seasonally and co-seasonally in an ultra-rush scheme in children with bronchial asthma allergic to grass pollen.
Methods Fifty children with asthma, aged 6–17, sensitive to grass pollen, participated in the 2-year prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, to investigate the efficacy and safety of SLIT (Staloral 300 IR, Stallergenes SA, 25 μg major allergens) as a standardized extract of five grass pollen with ultra-rush induction.
Results SLIT significantly improved asthma symptom scores (41% vs. placebo group), reduced nasal symptoms (25% vs. placebo group) and the use of rescue medications (10% vs. placebo group), improved forced expiratory volume in 1 s, but had no effect on ocular symptoms, nasal hyper-reactivity, peak expiratory flow and forced expiratory volume between 25% and 75% of vital capacity. Serum levels of immunoglobulin E and IgG4 did not change after SLIT. After the second season of SLIT, an improvement in bronchial hyperresponsiveness was observed; however, compared with placebo, this effect was not significant. Among all subjects in SLIT group, predominantly local reactions have been recorded in 59% of subjects in the first year of treatment and in 35% in the second.
Conclusions Our study indicated that high-dose ultra-rush, co-seasonal SLIT given for 2 years, was safe and reduced a multiple symptom–medication score.