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Allergic to cats? Try dander!

CatsPeople who are allergic to cats may not have to get rid of their pets to find relief, if the findings of a new study hold up.

Tolerance to cats can be built up in allergic kids by placing increasing doses of standardized cat dander extract under the tongue, according to Spanish researchers.

In the medical journal Allergy, Dr. Emilio Alvarez-Cuesta of Hospital Ramon y Cajal, Madrid, and colleagues note that a first-line step for people with cat allergy is to remove cats from the home. However, this is often rejected or is not entirely effective, leaving immunotherapy as the only treatment.

In sublingual immunotherapy, or SLIT, the allergen is placed under the tongue, where it is absorbed into the system.

To see whether SLIT using cat dander extract works for cat allergies, the researchers randomly assigned 50 allergic youngsters to get daily SLIT drops with increasing levels of cat allergen or inactive “placebo” drops, for a year.

There were no reports of adverse reactions, and the investigators conclude the results suggest “that the cat SLIT used in this study was able to improve cat allergy based on natural exposure challenge.”

Source: MSNBC
Image: Flickr/_Xti_
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