A daily pill can alter immune cell memory and reduce allergic reactions like hay fever and thunderstorm asthma, new research shows.
A study led by researchers at Monash University found that Victorians who took the prescribed drug Oralair for four months in the run-up to allergy season for three consecutive years had retrained immune cells that provided long-term protection against allergic reactions.
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In 2019, researchers studied 27 Victorians who were allergic to ryegrass pollen; Half of them took the daily grass pollen tablet under their tongue and the others received antihistamines.
“It’s probably about 75 percent effective in terms of improving symptoms, such as nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing and itching,” said allergy specialist Dr. Joy Lee.
Exposing sufferers to five different types of grass pollen, the pill works by retraining the immune system and may reduce the risk of thunderstorm asthma.
“This is very good news … we compared the before and after samples for changes in immune memory and what we found are the bases treated with the tablet – their immune cells that responded to ryegrass pollen had changed,” the Central Clinic said Monash University said principal Menno van Zelm.
“The cells of the patients who were not treated with the drug had not changed.”
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, more than 4.6 million Australians suffer from hay fever, which is often triggered by an allergic reaction to outdoor or indoor allergens such as pollen and dust mites.
In 2016, Melbourne was home to the world’s largest epidemic thunderstorm asthma event, leaving thousands of people struggling to breathe and killing at least nine people.
Oralair does not work for everyone and asthma sufferers should check with their GP first.
– With AAP
https://7news.com.au/weather/severe-weather/oralair-pill-that-retrains-the-immune-system-to-reduce-risk-of-thunderstorm-asthma-c-8438468 Oralair pill that retrains the immune system to reduce risk of thunderstorm asthma