Fast Five Quiz: Test Your Knowledge About Fall Allergies

Michael A. Kaliner, MD


July 06, 2020

A sublingual (SL) house dust mite immunotherapy (Odactra™) was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2017. It is a standardized allergen extract indicated as daily SL immunotherapy for allergic rhinitis, with or without conjunctivitis, confirmed by in vitro testing for immunoglobulin E antibodies to Dermatophagoides farinae or Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus house dust mites, or skin testing to licensed house dust mite allergen extracts.

The first dose must be given in a healthcare setting under the supervision of a physician with experience in diagnosis and treatment of allergic diseases. Patient monitoring for signs or symptoms of a severe systemic or local allergic reaction is required after administration. Life-threatening allergic reactions is described in a boxed warning within the prescribing information. The boxed warning also includes the need to prescribe autoinjectable epinephrine for the patient to have while using immunotherapy.

In the home, mites typically infest objects that contain fabrics; for example, higher concentrations of mites are found in pillows, box springs, mattresses, bedding, carpets, throw rugs, drapery, stuffed animals, and upholstered furniture. Seasonal changes in relative humidity can affect the concentrations of dust mite allergen, and these fluctuations can contribute to allergic symptoms in the sensitized individual. Higher concentrations are usually found in older homes, regions of high humidity, and homes with heating units other than forced air. Cold, dry air at high altitudes is not conducive to dust mite growth. Levels of 10 μg/g of dust induce allergic symptoms or asthma in sensitized persons, but lower levels may also cause symptoms.

Several studies show that using impermeable mattress covers is not an effective strategy by itself to reduce the symptoms of allergic rhinitis or asthma in dust mite-sensitized persons.

For more on dust mite allergy, read here.


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