A team of officials with the FDA have recently approved Merck, Sharp & Dohme Corporation’s Odactra one of the first allergen extract to be delivered sublingually to treat house dust mite-induced allergic rhinitis, with or without eye inflammation. This is a year-round, once a day tablet, approved for adults aged 18 to 65 years. [1]

House dust mite allergies which result due to a reaction to bugs which are commonly present in house dust. Dust mites, ticks, and spiders are too small to be seen with a naked eye. They are commonly found embedded in upholstery furniture, bedding, and carpets of the house. These dust mites survive on dead skin flakes which are usually present on carpets, house bedding and upholstery. These scavengers thrive on these skin flakes at about temperatures of 66 to 77 degree Fahrenheit.

House dust mite allergy usually presents with a runny nose, nasal congestion, and sneezing, itchy and watery eyes.

These allergies can terribly impact the quality of life of a patient with very limited therapeutic options available. With the approval of Odactra[1], patients will now have an alternative line of treatment instead of allergy shots normally given to address their allergies.


This tablet exposes the patient to dust mite allergens thereby retraining and remodulating the immune system to reduce the intensity and severity of nasal and eye allergic symptoms.  The first dose has to be taken in presence of a well-trained health care professional who can manage allergic symptoms and attacks well. After the first dose, the patient has to be monitored carefully for 30 minutes for any allergic attacks or adverse symptoms. If the first dose can be tolerated well, the patient can take this drug at home.  A significant benefit was observed by patients after 8-14 weeks of initiation of therapy.


The benefits and effectiveness of this drug was evaluated in studies conducted across the USA, Canada and Europe which involved about 2500 subjects. The clinical trial involved a group on Odactra and a control group on a placebo. During this trial, patients reported all the symptoms experienced by them and the need to use allergy relieving medications. People on Odactra showed a 10 to 18% reduction in allergy symptoms and need for allergy relieving medications.


  • Swelling in the lips and tongue
  • Itching in the ears and mouth
  • Nausea

Odactra has been boxed with a warning regarding allergic reaction some of which could be life-threatening. As with other FDA-approved allergen extract medications patients need to be prescribed auto-injectible epinephrine. Odactra also comes with a medication guide for patient information which is distributed along with the packaging.[1]


This once a day tablet is an additional option we have to increase tolerance and reduce symptoms of the patient. Dust mite allergy is pretty common type of allergy present all year around and can be now managed with this new medication along with aggressive measures taken to reduce exposure to the allergen.

Credit: Dr. Rachita on behalf of Borderless Access

Copyright © 2017 BorderlessAccess

Reference Sources:

  1. FDA approves Odactra for house dust mite allergies