The federal Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) is reviewing a new pill manufactured by Merck & Co. Company officials from the drug producer say that the pill can significantly alleviate grass pollen allergies over time.
Merck’s new drug is an immunotherapy tablet that is dissolved under the tongue. Merck claims that the new tablet will reduce allergy symptoms over time, rather than just alleviate them temporarily, as current allergy drugs do.
According to Merck, a consumer would take the tablet daily throughout the peak allergy season for a period of three years. The idea is to gradually desensitize the consumer’s immune system to the substance that triggers allergic reactions.
Top allergists say that Merck’s new immunotherapy tablet is a major advance over existing allergy treatments. These tablets, also being developed for other allergies, could prove to be a significant scientific breakthrough.
The only currently known side effects to the tablet are itchiness of the mouth and ear, and throat irritation.
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