HealthDay News — For patients with allergic rhinitis (AR), sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) is associated with slower AR progression and less frequent asthma onset, according to research published in Allergy.

Stefan Zielen, MD, from the Goethe University Hospital in Frankfurt, Germany, and colleagues examined the real-world, long-term efficiency of grass-pollen SLIT tablets in AR in a retrospective analysis of a longitudinal prescription database. Patients with AR treated with grass pollen SLIT tablets (2851 patients) were compared with a control group that had not received allergy immunotherapy (AIT; 71,275 patients).

The researchers found that after adjustment for covariates and relative to the pre-treatment period, AR medication use was 18.8% lower in the SLIT tablet group vs the non-AIT group (P <.001). Compared with the non-AIT group, the onset of asthma was less frequent in the SLIT tablet group (odds ratio, 0.696; P =.002), while time to asthma was significantly longer (hazard ratio, 0.523; P =.003). Compared with the non-AIT group, the SLIT group had an additional 16.7% decrease in asthma medication use after SLIT cessation, relative to the pre-treatment period (P =.004).

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“Real-world treatment of AR patients with grass pollen SLIT tablets was associated with slower AR progression, less frequent asthma onset, and slower asthma progression,” the researchers write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to biopharmaceutical companies, including Stallergenes Greer, which funded the study.

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Zielen S, Devillier P, Heinrich J, Richter H, Wahn U. Sublingual immunotherapy provides long-term relief in allergic rhinitis and reduces the risk of asthma: a retrospective, real-world database analysis [published online May 31, 2017]. Allergy. doi: 10.1111/all.13213.