Skip to main content
  1. Life
  2. Health & Fitness
  3. Healthcare

New drug for the treatment of ragweed pollen allergies

See also

On April 17, 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug Ragwitek to treat ragweed pollen-induced hay fever (allergic rhinitis) in adults. Ragweed pollen allergies are very common in Connecticut and can cause sneezing, runny or itchy nose, stuffy or congested nose, or itchy and watery eyes. Ragwitek was designed to decrease sensitivity to ragweed and lead to lasting relief from the symptoms of ragweed-induced hay fever. Treatment with Ragwitek is started 12 weeks before the start of ragweed pollen season and continued throughout the season. “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. of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.

More Photos

The efficacy of Ragwitek in the treatment of ragweed pollen-induced hay fever was evaluated in two double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials in adults (18–50 years of age). Participants in the studies received Ragwitek or placebo for approximately 12 weeks prior to the start of the ragweed pollen season and throughout the ragweed pollen season. The participant population was 86% White, 9% African American, and 3% Asian and was almost equally divided between males and females. During treatment for one ragweed pollen season, participants who received Ragwitek experienced approximately a 26% reduction in symptoms and the need for medications compared to those who received a placebo.

Ragweed pollen is one of the most common seasonal allergens and is prevalent during the late summer and early fall months in most of the United States. Ragweed pollen-induced allergies are generally managed by avoiding the allergen, medications to relieve symptoms, or with immunotherapy (i.e., allergy shots). Ragwitek is a new immunotherapy; unlike allergy shots, it is administered as tablets under the tongue (sublingual). The tablets contain an extract from short ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) pollen, which is known to elicit allergic reactions in susceptible individuals. These sublingual tablets work by desensitizing the immune system to ragweed. The body responds to the allergen in the sublingual tablets (in this case, the extracts of ragweed pollen) by developing immunity or tolerance to the allergen.

Advertisement

Life

  • Derek Hough
    Derek Hough brings quadruple threat talent to 'DWTS' and beyond
    Today's Buzz
  • Hookah smoking
    Young adults believe hookah smoking pose no health threat
    Camera
    7 Photos
  • Top outdoor activities
    Don't spend your summer indoors: Top outdoor activities to do with your significant other
    Camera
    10 Photos
  • Baby shower idea for men
    A new twist on baby showers is throwing a Daddy Baby-Q
    Camera
    7 Photos
  • Wedding special
    'Curvy Brides' offers a new look into every bride's pursuit for her picture perfect wedding gown
    Camera
    7 Photos
  • Morbid obesity
    Health: Morbid obesity decreases life span by up to 16 years
    Camera
    7 Photos

Related Videos:

  • A common variation in a gene may modify the cardiovascular benefit of aspirin.
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518275218" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518275218&autoStart=true"></div>
  • Creativity in the arts increase in Parkinson's patients taking certain therapies.
    <div class="video-info" data-id="517669413" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=517669413&autoStart=true"></div>
  • Brain study switches a woman's consciousness on and off with an electrical zap to the claustrum.
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518304303" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518304303&autoStart=true"></div>