Oralair (Grass Pollen)
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Oralair is a type of allergy immunotherapy that is used to help those who have an allergy to grass pollens. Grass allergies are one of the most common types of seasonal and year-round allergies. These allergies can cause a wide range of symptoms in patients that leave them feeling uncomfortable. People with allergies to grass pollens often react with itchy and watery eyes, a stuffy nose, runny nose, coughing, and sneezing. Oralair is used to reduce these symptoms.
This medication is often used in people who have seasonal allergies that are moderate or severe and who haven’t been able to find relief through other medications. Usually, the patient will have an allergy test before this medication is prescribed. This may be through a blood test or a skin test.
When patients take Oralair, it causes their immune systems to be less sensitive to pollen from the grass. It’s a medication that’s taken regularly in order to help with the reaction that the body has to these pollens. Ideally, this medication is started about four months before the season of grass pollen starts. The medication is an extract made from specific pollens that often cause allergic reactions. Because it causes your body to be exposed to those pollens long-term, it causes your body to get used to the pollens and not to react so strongly to them. It doesn’t work immediately but takes time to slowly get the body accustomed to the pollens.
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Oralair Precautions and Warnings
If you have an allergy to any of the ingredients in Oralair, don’t take this medication. If you’ve tried grass immunotherapy in the past and had a serious allergic reaction to it, don’t try Oralair. Don’t try it if you have severe asthma, either seasonally or chronically. You also shouldn’t take it if you have any form of cancer or if you have a serious auto-immune disease or immune deficiency. If there’s inflammation in your mouth or a yeast infection or sores there, don’t take it. It shouldn’t be taken by anyone under five years old.
If you have a serious reaction to this medication, such as swelling in your mouth or face, a rash, severe dizziness, or a hard time breathing, get medical attention right away. When you first take this medication, you’ll need to remain at a health care center for half an hour to make sure that you won’t have a serious reaction to it. You may be prescribed an EpiPen to use at home in case you ever have a serious reaction to it.
There are some medication conditions that can make it more likely that you’ll have an allergic reaction to Oralair. These include having heart problems such as a previous heart attack or angina and high blood pressure. Make sure that the doctor or dentist knows that you take this medication if you need surgery or are in need of a dental procedure. You may have to stop taking Oralair before the procedure.
If you’re pregnant, make sure your doctor knows before you’re prescribed this medication. There isn’t much information about using it during pregnancy. The doctor will have to weigh the benefits of it with the risks when deciding whether to prescribe it. It’s unknown whether Oralair gets into breast milk.
Oralair Side Effects
It’s possible to have a number of side effects from this medication. They may be mild, or they could be more severe. Sometimes, side effects go away on their own after you’ve been taking the medication for a while. For those who have side effects, many of them can be managed as long as they aren’t severe.
You may also have mild swelling of your mouth or tongue while first taking this medication. If you have side effects that bother you and don’t go away, let your doctor know. Most of the patients who take Oralair don’t get any severe side effects. It’s rare to have a serious allergic reaction to it.
If you have any severe side effects, your doctor should find out as soon as possible. Some of the more common side effects possible include:
- Allergy symptoms like watery eyes and runny nose
- Asthma symptoms like cough and wheezing
- Itchiness of the eyes or ears
- Dry mouth
- Throat irritation
Oralair Drug Interactions
Before you take Oralair, talk to your doctor about all of the medications you take. Make sure they know every prescription medication you take as well as anything over the counter that you take. There are some medications that can change the way that Oralair works for you, and it may result in worse side effects.
There may be a contraindication between Oralair and medications that are categorized as beta-adrenergic blockers (such as Tenormin and Bystolic). These include medications like propranolol, atenolol, and sotalol. There may also be problems with taking Oralair and medications classified as ACEIs, or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors. These include enalapril, captopril, and ramipril.
You should also let your doctor know if you drink alcohol, use nicotine, or consume caffeine as well as any recreational drug use. Your doctor will know whether your use of these substances may affect your use of Oralair. If you do take a medication or a substance that could react poorly with Oralair, you may need to be moved to a different medication so that you can take Oralair. Or, you may need to be prescribed a different type of allergy medication.
Oralair Strengths and Dosages
Oralair is a sublingual tablet. It’s placed under the tongue and allowed to dissolve there. There are two forms that the medication comes in- 100 IR and 300 IR. The IR number is the index of reactivity. It can be taken by those who are aged five and up. The dose on the first day is 100 IR. On the second day, the patient takes 200 IR. On the third day, this goes up to 300 IR. This is the maintenance dosage that will then be taken every day. Doctors generally prescribe this medication this way, but it may be different for you depending on your weight, other medication that you take, and any medical conditions you have.
To take this medication, make sure your hands are dry before handling the tablet. Only take it from the package when you’re ready to use it right away. It’s put under the tongue and left there until it dissolves. Don’t swallow for a full minute after placing the tablet. As it dissolves, the medication will get into your bloodstream through the skin inside your mouth. Don’t eat or drink anything for the first five minutes, and wash your hands once you’ve finished handling the tablet.
Always take the medication exactly as prescribed. If you happen to forget a dose, take it when you remember it unless it’s almost time for the next one. Don’t take two at once. If you stop taking it for more than a week, you’ll need to discuss getting back on it with your doctor.
Cost of Oralair in America
The cost of a one-month supply of this medication without insurance is around $350. It has a wholesale price of about $300. There are many ways to get the price of it down to a more manageable amount. Many companies make discount cards that are free and will give you some money off the total if you don’t have insurance. If you do have insurance, you can expect to pay just your co-pay unless you haven’t met your deductible yet. Your policy will dictate the price you pay.
The manufacturer of Oralair also makes a discount card that allows patients to get a steep discount on the price. These cards can make it possible to get a one-month supply for $25 for patients who are eligible.
There are currently no generics available for this medication. If you need this medication for your grass pollen allergy, you’ll have to take the name brand.
What does Oralair do?
It helps people with an allergy to grass pollens to react less to this allergen so that the patient has fewer allergy symptoms. When the body is exposed to a small amount of these pollens every day, it becomes less reactive to them.
How long does it take to work?
Oralair isn’t a fast-acting medication. It should be taken for months before the pollen season starts and should be taken long-term.
What forms does it come in?
It is only available as sublingual tablets that dissolve under the tongue.
Are there side effects?
Not everyone has side effects from Oralair, but it’s possible to have them. They can include a runny nose, headache, nausea, cough, and other allergy symptoms. In rare cases, a serious allergic reaction could develop.
Can I take Oralair if I have asthma?
Your doctor can decide whether you’re able to take it, but people with asthma often aren’t able to. The medication can make asthma symptoms worse.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. It should not be taken as an endorsement of any specific medication or treatment. Individual health conditions and responses to treatment can vary greatly; therefore, this information should not be seen as a guarantee of safety, suitability, or effectiveness for any particular individual. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized medical advice and before making any decisions regarding your health or treatment plans.