New tablet offers relief for hay fever and asthma sufferers

Melbourne researchers have discovered a life-changing pill that could help hay fever and thunderstorm asthma sufferers.

The tablets – enriched with tiny doses of grass pollen – have been found to provide long-term protection against allergic reactions, including thunderstorm asthma.

Menno van Zelm, lab director for allergy and clinical immunology at Monash University, said the prescription pills could help retrain the immune system to reduce an allergic reaction.

“It’s a very important tablet,” Professor van Zelm told radio station 3AW.

“It’s actually used to retrain the immune system.”

The tablet must be placed under the tongue daily for four months in advance of the pollen season.

It contains a small amount of grass pollen that creates a reaction that can retrain the immune system.

‘In that environment it doesn’t cause a very strong reaction, but it’s actually used to retrain the immune system and make sure it doesn’t cause severe allergic reactions,’ Professor van Zelm said.

However, Professor van Zelm warned that it doesn’t work the same for all allergy sufferers.

“It works for a lot of people, but not for everyone,” he said.

“It really depends on how strong it is. If it’s really mild I would recommend using antihistamines at that point, but you should speak to your GP,” he said.

Melbourne in particular has been described as the hay fever capital of Australia and Professor van Zelm helped explain why.

“When the winds come from the north in the morning, they pick up the pollen over the ocean and the wind turns around them and brings this kind of wet, humid air with pollen in it,” said Professor van Zelm.

“It makes a very high dose of pollen that sensitizes a lot of people.”

Originally released as New Tablet, the immune system of hay fever and asthma sufferers can be retrained