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February 27, 2007                                                

SIU Med Schools Offers Immunotherapy Program for Allergies

The Allergy Clinic at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine now offers certain allergy sufferers an alternative to the traditional injection program.  SIU physicians now offer a new therapy, sublingual immunotherapy program (SLIT), the first of its kind in Springfield.

SLIT therapy involves patients placing drops under their tongue for two minutes daily six days per week.  It has been widely used in Europe since the 1960s and has been proven equally effective to the standard allergy injections.  There have been no reported anaphylactic reactions reported with SLIT therapy.

“Patients have an added bonus because they are actually able to do the drops at home rather than needing to come in to our office to get the injections,” says Dr. Richard M. Bass, professor of otololaryngology and director of the SIU allergy clinic.  Bass joined the SIU faculty in 2004 after previously serving SIU volunteer faculty (1976-2004) while he was in private practice in Springfield.  He is board certified in otolaryngology.

SIU’s SLIT program began last fall and currently it has 10 patients involved while 140 other SIU patients are taking the more traditional approach of injection therapy.  Insurance plans do not cover SLIT therapy.  The out-of-pocket cost to patients is $10-20 per week, depending on whether one or two vials of serum are needed.

Information about SLIT therapy is available from SIU’s Division of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery.  Contact Denise or Michelle at 217-545-6099 weekdays.

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thern Illinois University School of Medicine Office of Public Affairs News Releases P.O. Box 19621, Springfield IL 62794-9621, 217-545-2155