Will Sublingual Immunotherapy Offer Benefit for Asthma?
Evidence shows that sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) is indicated in patients with allergic rhinitis (AR). In this article we discuss whether SLIT could offer benefit for children and adults with asthma. We reviewed individual trials on SLIT in asthmatic patients, but also asthma data reported in some SLIT trials conducted in AR patients. Findings were complemented with data from systematic reviews and meta-analysis on the subject since 2000 and some guidelines that mention immunotherapy for asthma treatment. In AR patients with concomitant persistent asthma, SLIT reduces medication needs while maintaining symptom control. This holds especially true for house dust mite SLIT. Data on pollen SLIT and lung symptom improvement with SLIT, however, are less convincing. Therefore, we suggest SLIT should be added as an optional add-on therapy for patients with asthma whenever a causative allergen has been demonstrated and AR is associated with asthma. For the future, SLIT should be studied in specifically designed asthma studies in allergic asthmatics without AR.