Relief may be in sight for the millions of Americans who suffer from ragweed allergy, commonly known as hay fever.
Ragwitek, which comes in a pill form, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Thursday. It's made of ragweed pollen and helps the body become immune to it.
Patients take the first pill, which is placed under the tongue, in a health care professional’s office where the patient is to be observed for at least 30 minutes for potential adverse reactions. After the first dose, patients can take Ragwitek at home.
“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.
People suffering from ragweed allergy suffer a runny nose, repetitive sneezing, nasal itching, nasal congestion and itchy and watery eyes.
Current treatments include a variety of nasal sprays, as well as shots specifically tailored to tame all of a patient's allergies.
According to the FDA, "During treatment for one ragweed pollen season, patients who received Ragwitek experienced approximately a 26 percent reduction in symptoms and the need for medications compared to those who received a placebo."