BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Medical Policy Manual

Sublingual Liquid Immunotherapy

DESCRIPTION

Sublingual liquid immunotherapy is a proposed treatment for allergies administered in liquid or drops placed under the tongue, usually given on a daily basis. Currently there is no immunotherapy antigen in liquid form cleared for sublingual use by the FDA.

Allergic rhinitis (AR) with or without conjunctivitis (ARC) is a global health problem. Symptomatic treatment is available, but some patients do not tolerate or respond well to these treatments—and only allergen immunotherapy offers persistent, long-term benefits. In clinical practice, subcutaneous allergen immunotherapy (SCIT) and sublingual allergen immunotherapy (SLIT) tablets are the most common methods used.

For sublingual tablet immunotherapy, please refer to MCG Care Guideline - Immunotherapy, Sublingual

POLICY

IMPORTANT REMINDERS

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Many questions currently remain unanswered regarding sublingual liquid immunotherapy, such as effective dosing, optimal starting time and schedule, and duration of therapy. Also under consideration is that most individuals receiving subcutaneous injection therapy in the US are treated with multiple allergens, which is currently not possible with sublingual liquid immunotherapy.

SOURCES

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) and American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI). (2017). Sublingual immunotherapy - a focused allergen immunotherapy practice parameter update. Retrieved May 4, 2017 from http://www.aaaai.org/Aaaai/media/MediaLibrary/PDF%20Documents/Practice%20and%20Parameters/Sublingual-Immunotherapy-2017.pdf.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. CMS.gov. NCD for Antigens prepared for sublingual administration. (110.9). Retrieved June 25, 2015 from http://www.cms.gov.

Creticos, P., Esch, R., Couroux, P., Gentile, D., D’Angelo, P., Whitlow, B, et al. (2013). Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of standardized ragweed sublingual-liquid immunotherapy for allergic rhinoconjunctivitis. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 2014; 133 (3), 751-758. (Level 2 evidence)

Elenburg, A., & Blaiss, M. (2014). Current status of sublingual immunotherapy in the United States. World Allergy Organization Journal, 7 (1), 24. (Level 5 evidence)

ORIGINAL EFFECTIVE DATE:  11/14/2015

MOST RECENT REVIEW DATE:  6/8/2017

ID_BT

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