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Sublingual Immunotherapy Tablet Safe in Asthma Patients

Findings based on eight studies in individuals with allergic rhinitis with/without conjunctivitis

Sublingual Immunotherapy Tablet Safe in Asthma Patients

MONDAY, Dec. 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For individuals with asthma and allergic rhinitis with/without conjunctivitis (AR/C), treatment with a Timothy grass sublingual immunotherapy tablet (SLIT-tablet) seems safe, according to research published online Dec. 14 in Allergy.

Jennifer Maloney, M.D., from Merck & Co. in Whitehouse Station, N.J., and colleagues pooled data from eight randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of Timothy grass SLIT-tablet MK-7243 in individuals with AR/C. The authors calculated the frequencies for treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs), local allergic swelling (mouth or throat), systemic allergic reactions, and asthma-related treatment-related adverse events (TRAEs). Data were included for 3,314 adults and 881 children, of whom 24 and 31 percent, respectively, had reported asthma.

The researchers observed no serious local allergic swellings or serious allergic reactions among SLIT-tablet-treated individuals with asthma. SLIT-tablet treatment was not associated with increased TEAEs, systemic allergic reactions, or severe local allergic swellings in adults or children with asthma, compared with those without asthma, in or outside of pollen season. There were six out of 120 asthma-related TRAEs assessed as severe with SLIT tablet treatment and two out of 60 with placebo; the trend was consistent among those with and without asthma.

"In the AR/C subjects with reported well-controlled mild asthma included in these studies, grass SLIT-tablet did not increase TEAE frequency, severe local allergic swelling, or systemic allergic reactions versus subjects without asthma," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties (including employment) to pharmaceutical companies, including Merck & Co., which funded the study and manufactures MK-7243.

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