Spring Fever? Oralair has you covered!

Roni Shye
Roni Shye, PharmD BCGP BCACP, is a licensed pharmacist in the states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
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After the harsh winter most of the country has had this year, everyone is ready for April showers to bring those May flowers. However, with spring approaching now so are your spring-time allergies. With all the new flowers, grass, and pollen it’s no wonder that so many people suffer from seasonal allergies, also known as hay fever or allergic rhinitis.

Now, Oralair is a newly approved seasonal allergy treatment that may help ease your hay fever symptoms. Oralair is different from other oral allergy meds—it contains allergen extracts and it’s actually a form of immunotherapy, more like the allergy shots you get at the doctor’s office.

What is hay fever?

Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, is your body’s allergic response to outdoor or indoor allergens such as pollen, grass, mold, dust, or pet dander. It can cause symptoms similar to the common cold, however, it is not due to bacteria or a virus. Symptoms may start immediately after being exposed to the offending allergen and can continue until you are no longer exposed. Some common symptoms include sneezing, watery or itchy eyes, congestion, and runny nose.

Is there a time of year that is worse for outdoor allergies?

Yes. Outdoor allergies depend on when tree pollen, grasses, or weeds are blooming, which occur at different times throughout the year. Many people have allergies year-round; however, their symptoms tend to get worse during certain seasons like spring or fall.

You can check out a daily pollen forecast for the country here, and find out more information about allergies and your city from The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America here.

What is Oralair used to treat?
Oralair is the first FDA-approved sublingual allergen extract treatment for allergic rhinitis with or without conjunctivitis (itchy or irritated eyes) that is caused by certain grass pollens.

Are there any other sublingual allergen extract options currently on the market?

No. Oralair is the first of its kind and currently the only sublingual treatment available.

Who is Oralair for?
Oralair is indicated for the treatment of patients who are 10 to 65 years old.

What strengths does Oralair come in, and how is it taken?
Oralair is available in 100 mg and 300 mg immediate release sublingual tablets. It is taken once daily and placed under the tongue (also known as sublingually) for 1 minute to fully dissolve.

Oralair is to be started 4 months prior to the expected onset of each grass pollen season, and you will remain on it throughout the grass pollen season.

Are there any special considerations for the administration of Oralair?

YES. Since Oralair contains allergens, the first dose MUST be administered at your doctor’s office to make sure you do not experience an adverse reaction. After taking the tablet, you must remain at the doctor’s office for an additional 30 minutes. After you’ve had the first dose, you may have the medication at home and take it yourself.

What does it mean that Oralair is made of allergen extracts?
Oralair’s composition is similar to the concept used in common vaccinations. Many vaccinations introduce your body to a weakened form of the disease which allows your immune system to build up antibodies. The formation of antibodies allows you to fight off the disease better in the event you become exposed to it.

Oralair contains a mixture of freeze-dried extracts from the pollens of five grasses, including Kentucky Blue Grass, Orchard, Perennial Rye, Sweet Vernal, and Timothy.

Treatment with Oralair is intended to increase your tolerance towards grass pollens, thereby reducing your allergic symptoms.

You can find more information in the Oralair package insert here, and find prices, images, and other information here.

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