Allergy relief without the "ouch"?

Posted at: 12/12/2013 1:03 PM
By: Erika Edwards, NBC News

Photo: NBC News

(NBC News) -- Some allergy sufferers may soon be able to ditch shots in favor of something less painful.

A panel of experts is meeting at the Food and Drug Administration today and is expected to decide whether to recommend full FDA approval for allergy tablets that would be dissolved under the tongue.

Two companies are seeking FDA approval for tablets to treat people with grass and pollen allergies.

Tablets may allow patients to treat themselves at home, but that luxury concerns some allergists.

"What happens if they take too much? Since oral immunotherapy and shot immunotherapy runs the risk of allergic reactions, we could worry about with patients in their own homes," immunologist Dr. Neeta Ogden said.

Another advantage to shots is they can be tailored to each patient. Liquid drops and tablets would be standardized.

An alternative to shots may be especially welcome news for young allergy sufferers often fearful of needles.