The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Odactra (Merck, Sharp & Dohme Corp), the first sublingual allergen extract for the treatment of house dust mite–induced allergic rhinitis, with or without conjunctivitis in adults aged 18 through 65 years.
"House dust mite allergic disease can negatively impact a person's quality of life," Peter Marks, MD, PhD, director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said in an FDA news release. "The approval of Odactra provides patients an alternative treatment to allergy shots to help address their symptoms."
House dust mites are microscopic bugs that are typically found in house dust and live in bedding, upholstered furniture, and carpeting. They are close relatives of ticks and spiders. Those with allergies to house dust mites may suffer from a cough, sneezing, nasal congestion, nasal itching, and itchy, watery eyes.
Odactra reduces the occurrence and severity of nasal and eye allergy symptoms by desensitizing patients to house dust mite allergens. It is a tablet that is placed under the tongue, where it dissolves rapidly. Patients take Odactra once daily, year round.