Later this spring, allergy sufferers will have access to a new form of help: a pill that can replace allergy shots. But the pill works only for grass allergies, and it's not clear how much it's going to cost.
The Food and Drug Administration just approved Oralair, the first sublingual allergy immunotherapy tablet for use in the United States. That's how regulators describe a pill that you stick under your tongue to tamp down your immune system.
Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 3:01 pm
The Food and Drug Administration issued Friday the first legally binding rules for what food companies can legally label "gluten-free."
The rules should help millions of Americans who can't tolerate gluten in their diet.
Gluten is a protein in wheat, barley and rye. Bakers appreciate its gluey texture for making bread. But when people with celiac disease eat it, it causes their immune systems to attack their small intestines.
One out of every 13 children has a food allergy, but the affliction still regularly stumps doctors. As Kari Nadeau, director of the Stanford Alliance for Food Allergy Research, told Terry Gross in April on Fresh Air, researchers still don't understand what "flips the switch between a food allergen versus a food nutrient in children."
Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 11:31 am
Allergy shots have long been one of the best available treatments for hay fever, other allergies, and asthma, but they're a pain. In Europe, people have a more pleasant alternative: drops put under the tongue.
That treatment, called sublingual immunotherapy, hasn't been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but more and more patients in the U.S. are asking for it.