The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given its green signal to Ragwitek, an allergen extract, to treat short ragweed pollen induced allergic rhinitis or hay fever.
The drug, administered under the tongue, helps in treating hay fever (with or without conjunctivitis) in those in age group 18 and 65.
Ragwitek contains an extract from short ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) pollen. One tablet of Ragwitek is taken daily by placing it under the tongue, which gets later dissolved.
Those undergoing the treatment begin its dose 12 weeks before the onset of ragweed pollen season and continue it throughout the season. However, the first timers are advised to take the drug under supervision.
“The approval of Ragwitek offers millions of adults living with ragweed pollen allergies in the United States an alternative to allergy shots to help manage their disease,” said Karen Midthun, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research in a press release.
The safety of the medication concluded following evaluation of 1,700 adults in clinical studies. Patients who were taking Ragwitek during ragweed pollen season experienced a 26 percent reduction in symptoms compared to those who received a placebo.
The most common side effects of Ragwitek are itching in the mouth and ears and throat irritation.
Allergy is something that our system does not accept to and we fall sick. Our immune system is responsible for our protection from harmful stuff that sneaks into our bodies. But if it fails to adapt to something or highly reacts to it then that is allergy. For instance, most people can breathe in pollen without knowing its presence even. But if you have an allergy to pollen and you breathe some in, your immune system will mistake it for an enemy and send antibodies to fight it.
Experts say, an estimated 20% of Americans are allergic to pollen. Pollen allergies alone cannot be life threatening. In severe cases, the pollen-food allergy syndrome can cause swelling of the throat or even cause anaphylactic shock. But alone, pollen allergies do not cause these extreme reactions. Braskett says this is because pollen generally gets trapped in the nose and airways and doesn’t get into blood stream.
Follow these tips to avoid falling prey to pollen allergies:
• Select the right plants. Ragweed’s yellow blooms are pretty all fall, but their pollen is potent. Ditto goldenrod. If you like yellows, try long-lasting zinnias, pansies and mums. Caution: Daisies, sunflowers and chrysanthemums are ragweed cousins.
• Keep weeds under control before they go to seed.
• Don’t bring cut flowers indoors. They will continue producing pollen in the warmth of your house. Commercial cut flowers are bred to limit pollen.
• Use a face mask approved by NIOSH while working. Wear a hat, long sleeves and gloves. Your eyes are a pollen vector. Protect them with glasses.
• Check daily pollen counts in weather forecasts. Lowest pollen days are cloudy, still winds and during and right after rains. Pollen is lowest in late afternoons and evenings.
• Shower and wash your hair after gardening and change your clothes.
Avoid high-pollen plants
• Decorative grasses
• Softwood trees, especially maple, pine and sycamore.
• Weeds including sumac, ragweed, goldenrod, thistle and pigweed.
• Juniper and cypress shrubs.
Choose allergy-friendly plants
• Nearly all popular flowering annuals and bulbs.
• Shrubs and bushes including holly, hibiscus, yew, spirea, boxwood, viburmum and hydrangea.
• Trees including fruit producers, English holly, dogwood, magnolia and red but not silver maple.
• Wood mulches produce allergic mold spores. Consider using gravel or ground covers such as pachysandra and vinca.