Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Once-a-day pill offers relief from ragweed allergy symptoms

Date:
May 7, 2013
Source:
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Summary:
A once-daily tablet containing a high dose of a key ragweed pollen protein effectively blocks the runny noses, sneezes, nasal congestion and itchy eyes experienced by ragweed allergy sufferers.

An international team of researchers, led by physician-scientists at Johns Hopkins, reports that a once-daily tablet containing a high dose of a key ragweed pollen protein effectively blocks the runny noses, sneezes, nasal congestion and itchy eyes experienced by ragweed allergy sufferers.

Tests showed that treatment with the pill, which contains the protein Ambrosia artemisiifolia major allergen 1, and is placed under the tongue to be absorbed, also reduced the need for anti-allergy drugs to get relief. More than 80 million Americans are allergic to ragweed.

The study is believed to be the first and largest, multicenter, double-blind, randomized controlled trial of its kind to investigate the use of sublingual immunotherapy against ragweed allergy. Begun in April 2010, it was funded by the drug's manufacturer, Merck of Whitehouse Station, N.J.

Results of the trial, published today in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, showed that overall symptoms and need for such allergy medications as antihistamines and nasal steroids fell by 27 percent in people who took a pill containing 12 units of the allergen. During peak ragweed season, the roughly two-week period between August and October when pollen counts are highest, symptoms and medication use dropped 24 percent.

Researchers say that if the pill wins approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it could serve as a more convenient, less painful option than weekly or monthly allergy shots. The pill also presents fewer potential side effects than allergen injections.

"Our results show this oral tablet for ragweed allergy is highly effective and well-tolerated, and offers considerable relief from what many allergy sufferers consider the most agonizing part of the year," says allergist and lead study investigator Peter Creticos, M.D.

Some 784 men and women from the United States, Canada, Hungary, Russia and the Ukraine volunteered to take part in the year-long study, in which participants were randomly assigned to take either a high-, medium-, or low-dose tablet, or placebo. Neither researchers nor study participants were aware of which dose of the pill or placebo they were taking. Patients kept track of their symptoms and medication use through detailed and daily diaries, which were later scored by researchers for analysis.

"Physicians treating ragweed allergy sufferers may soon have an alternative to the current approach to managing ragweed allergy, which usually involves weekly or monthly visits to the doctor's office for allergy shots and carries the risk of swelling and pain at the injection site, plus risk of anaphylactic shock," says Creticos, an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Creticos says that no adverse events occurred during the study. The only side effects observed were mild throat irritation, itchy tongue and swollen lips.

Creticos says his team has also begun studies of other non-injectible forms of immunotherapy, including ragweed allergy drops, and treatment applications where the allergen is lightly pricked or inserted into the middle layers of the skin.

Other researchers involved in the study are Jennifer Maloney, M.D., Amarjot Kaur, Ph.D., Nancy Lui, Ph.D., and Hendrik Nolte, M.D., Ph.D., at Merck; David Bernstein, M.D., at the Bernstein Clinical Research Center and University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, in Ohio; Thomas Casale, M.D., at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb.; Robert Fisher, M.D., at Allergy Research and Care in Milwaukee, Wis.; Kevin Murphy at Boys Town National Research Hospital in Omaha, Neb.; and Kristof Nekam, M.D., at Hospital of the Hospitaller, Brothers of St. John of God, in Budapest, Hungary. During the conduct of the study, Creticos was a paid member of a Merck scientific advisory board.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Peter S. Creticos, Jennifer Maloney, David I. Bernstein, Thomas Casale, Amarjot Kaur, Robert Fisher, Nancy Liu, Kevin Murphy, Kristσf Nιkαm, Hendrik Nolte. Randomized controlled trial of a ragweed allergy immunotherapy tablet in North American and European adults. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 2013; 131 (5): 1342 DOI: 10.1016/j.jaci.2013.03.019

Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins Medicine. "Once-a-day pill offers relief from ragweed allergy symptoms." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130507115513.htm>.
Johns Hopkins Medicine. (2013, May 7). Once-a-day pill offers relief from ragweed allergy symptoms. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130507115513.htm
Johns Hopkins Medicine. "Once-a-day pill offers relief from ragweed allergy symptoms." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130507115513.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) — The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) — A new study out of Canada says cognitive motor performance begins deteriorating around age 24. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) — British researchers were able to use Mount Everest's low altitudes to study insulin resistance. They hope to find ways to treat diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins