A review published in Pediatrics summarizes the current safety and efficacy data regarding the use of subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT) and sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) in pediatric allergic asthma.
For this study, researchers searched several databases (PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials between January 1, 2005 to May 8, 201), ClinicalTrials.gov, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Adverse Event Reporting System for data pertaining to pediatric usage of aeroallergen SCIT or SLIT. They also reexamined the trials included in a 2013 systematic review.
Randomized controlled trials of pediatric patients aged ≤18 years reporting on pre-specified outcomes with an intervention arm were included for efficacy. Both non-randomized and randomized controlled trials were examined for safety outcomes.
Forty studies were included in total: 17 SCIT trials, 11 SLIT trials, 8 non-randomized controlled trials for SCIT safety, and 4 non-randomized controlled trials for SLIT safety. Results showed that SCIT decreased long-term asthma medication use (moderate strength evidence) and improved asthma-related quality of life and FEV1(low strength evidence); SLIT also improved medication use and FEV1 (low strength evidence). Regarding safety, the authors observed that local and systemic allergic reactions were common, however anaphylaxis was rarely reported.
The authors concluded that "in children with allergic asthma, SCIT may reduce long-term asthma medication use."
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