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FDA approves new allergy treatment

The coming of spring means milder weather for most of the country, but for allergy sufferers, sneezing, sniffling and coughing are year-round afflictions.

Allergy treatments usually consist of over-the-counter decongestants loaded with antihistamines. Relatively recent additions to the anti-allergy arsenal such as Claritin and Zyrtec have brought some relief without as much drowsiness as older remedies, but for the worst afflicted, a trip to the doctor's office for shots designed to strengthen their immune systems was a fact of life.

The latest bit of good news on the allergy front ist the FDA's approval of a new prescription tablet from French drug maker Stallergenes called “Oralair”. Instead of an endless series of shots, Oralair holds the promise of relieving severe allergy symptoms with a tablet dissolved the tongue. According to press reports Oralair tablets have small amounts of five types of grass pollen. The idea is to stimulate the immune system's ability to fight off allergic reaction.

No one is claiming that Oralair is any sort of cure-all, but Stallargenes claims it can relieve allergy symptoms for three million people. While allergy sufferers can look forward to more effective and more convenient treatments, investors also celebrated the FDA's approval by sending Stallargenes shares up more than 6 percent on the first day of trading after the FDA gave Oralair its blessing.

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