Health, Medicine

Sublingual immunotherapy provides long-term relief in allergic rhinitis and reduces the risk of asthma: a retrospective, real-world database analysis

Abstract

Background

Allergy immunotherapy (AIT) is the only treatment for allergic rhinitis (AR) and/or allergic asthma (AA) with long-term efficacy. However, there are few real-life data on the progression of AR and/or AA in patients receiving AIT.

Objectives

To assess the real-world, long-term efficacy of grass-pollen sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) tablets in AR and their impact on asthma onset and progression.

Methods

In a retrospective analysis of a German longitudinal prescription database, AR patients treated with grass pollen SLIT tablets were compared with a control group not having received AIT. Multiple regression was used to compare changes over time in rescue symptomatic AR medication use after treatment cessation, asthma medication use, and the time to asthma onset in the two groups.

Results

After applying all selection criteria, 2851 SLIT and 71275 Control patients were selected for the study.After treatment cessation, AR medication use was 18.8 percentage points lower (after adjustment for covariates, and relative to the pre-treatment period) in SLIT tablet group than in the non AIT group (p<0.001). Asthma onset was less frequent in SLIT tablet group than in non AIT group (odds ratio: 0.696, p=0.002), and time to asthma was significantly longer (hazard ratio: 0.523; p=0.003). After SLIT cessation, asthma medication use fell by an additional 16.7 percentage points (relative to the pre-treatment period) in the SLIT tablet group vs. the non AIT group (p=0.004).

Conclusions

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

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