Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010 Dec 8;(12):CD002893. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD002893.

Sublingual immunotherapy for allergic rhinitis.

Author information

  • 1LEAP Study Team, Paediatric Allergy Research Department, St. Thomas' Hospital, Lambeth Palace Road, London, UK, SE1 7EH.



This is an update of a Cochrane Review first published in The Cochrane Library in Issue 2, 2003.Allergic rhinitis is a common condition which can significantly impair quality of life. Immunotherapy by injection can significantly reduce symptoms and medication use but its use is limited by the possibility of severe systemic adverse reactions. Immunotherapy by the sublingual route is therefore of considerable interest.


To evaluate the efficacy and safety of sublingual immunotherapy for allergic rhinitis in adults and children.


We searched the Cochrane ENT Group Trials Register; CENTRAL (2010, Issue 3); PubMed; EMBASE; CINAHL; Web of Science; BIOSIS Previews; Cambridge Scientific Abstracts; mRCT and additional sources for published and unpublished trials. The date of the most recent search was 14 August 2009.


Randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of sublingual immunotherapy in adults or children. Primary outcome measures were symptom and medication scores. We also collected adverse event data.


Two independent authors selected studies and assessed risk of bias. One author extracted data which was rechecked by two other authors. We used the standardised mean difference (SMD) with a random-effects model to combine data.


We included a total of 60 randomised controlled trials in the review. Forty-nine were suitable for pooling in meta-analyses (2333 SLIT, 2256 placebo participants). Overall, we found a significant reduction in symptoms (SMD -0.49; 95% confidence interval (CI) -0.64 to -0.34, P < 0.00001) and medication requirements (SMD -0.32; 95% CI -0.43 to -0.21, P < 0.00001) in participants receiving sublingual immunotherapy compared to placebo. None of the trials included in this review reported severe systemic reactions or anaphylaxis, and none of the systemic reactions reported required the use of adrenaline.


This updated review reinforces the conclusion of the original 2003 Cochrane Review that sublingual immunotherapy is effective for allergic rhinitis and has been proven to be a safe route of administration.

Comment in

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk