The world can be divided into the broad categories of those with seasonal allergies and those without. Unless you suffer from ragweed allergy, it is hard to understand the utter misery that lasts for a few months each year. For many people, short of moving to an area with no ragweed, there are few options. Ragweed is widespread across Canada and the USA with the exception of Alaska.
Many patients use nasal steroid sprays plus antihistamines just to be able to function. Often these pricey drugs only offer partial relief. Some patients opt for desensitization shots. These shots are specifically designed for each patient, require weekly shots in the doctor’s office, and need to be done over a period of years. A huge time commitment for patients.
The pharmaceutical company Merck and Co. is working on a new allergy immunotherapy tablet for ragweed allergies. This tablet would be popped under the tongue daily for a year. The principle would be similar to allergy desensitization shots and would theoretically gradually desensitize the immune system to the ragweed pollen. This is still to be passed by the FDA in the USA but the company hopes to have word in early 2014. Chances are that Canada would follow with approval in subsequent years.
There may be hope on the horizon for those of us with ragweed allergies!