A Dust Mite Pill May Help Relieve Asthma Symptoms

For some unlucky people allergies aren’t just seasonal, they last all year long. And for those with bad allergies, they can sometimes induce asthma attacks. But there is a new study out and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association which suggests that some people may find relief through an allergy pill made of dust mites!

The study looked at 834 people in Europe who have house dust mite-related asthma that is not easily controlled with available medications.

Researchers from University of Rostock in Germany, looked at 834 people in Europe who have dust mite-related asthma that is not easily controlled with available medications. For the study, some patients took a daily pill containing extract from two species of dust mites and others took a placebo. The idea is that the medication exposes the immune system to a safe dose of the allergen so that the immune system does not react as intensely when a person encounters the allergen again.

Of the 693 people who completed the study, the researchers found that there was a reduced risk of moderate or severe asthma reactions, for those taking the dust mite pill, compared to those on a placebo. Since up to 50 percent of people with asthma are sensitive to house dust mites and exposure to them can cause sever asthmatic reactions, this may be a good thing. But more studies are needed to look at the safety (the chance of a severe allergic reaction is less with these pills) of the pill and what long term use and efficacy of it would be.

From ABC News:

“Dust mite allergy is a big cause for pediatric and adult asthma, especially young kids are very exposed because they’re indoors so much,” said Mitchell. “These are really groundbreaking studies to reverse [an] underlying allergy,” that can induce an asthma attack.”

Now researchers just need to see if the findings can be replicated here. Dr. Mitchell Grayson, an allergist and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Medical College of Wisconsin (who was not associated with the study), noted that in the US more people are allergic to multiple allergens than in Europe- where most are allergic to just one allergen. Researchers need to know whether or not the dust mite pill would interfere with other medications or vice versa. For those of you who suffer from dust mite allergies, stay tuned!

Source: ABC News