Subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT) with allergen extracts in children with allergic rhinitis, with or without co-seasonal asthma, has developed into a routine treatment although the scientific evidence for its efficacy is not as strong as for adults. In the hands of experienced allergists, this treatment has been proven to be safe. The development of allergen tablets for sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) may open a new age of more convenient, safer SIT. In children, in particular, the evidence for the long-term efficacy of SLIT, its ability to prevent the development of asthma and polysensitization and its comparability to SCIT will be required before it will replace the traditional subcutaneous route. Issues of compliance represent an important drawback of SLIT. We need ways of improving this. Treatment of asthma by immunotherapy is still restricted to clearly defined patients with mild to moderate asthma with symptoms that are related to the specific allergen sensitization. In these patients, symptoms and use of anti-inflammatory therapy can be reduced by SIT.
Cite this as: A. Bufe and G. Roberts, Clinical & Experimental Allergy, 2011 (41) 1256–1262.