If your nose starts moonlighting as a tap the minute spring hits then get ready to fang those tissues in the bin, ‘cos Melbourne researchers reckon they’ve created a new pill that’ll provide long-lasting hay fever relief.
Now, this pill is not your rinky dink antihistamine — this bad boy contains tiny doses of grass pollens. As someone who could give Sneezy in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves a run for his money come springtime, the idea of ingesting that powdery little beast in tablet form fills me with dread.
But Monash University Allergy and Clinical Immunology Laboratory head Menno van Zelm said the pill is a kind of exposure therapy that reprograms your body’s immune system, so allergic reactions to grass pollen are reduced.
“We evaluated what changes in the immune system when people are taking this tablet,” he said, per the ABC.
“We know that this form of medication works for many people [but] interestingly, we don’t know exactly how it works and what changes in the immune system are needed to make sure it works.”
To cop the full benefits of the pill, it must be popped under your tongue everyday for four months in the lead-up to pollen season.
In a study of 27 Victorians who took the tablet for that period of time over three consecutive years, 92 per cent of them continued to feel the protective benefits two years later. Look, it’s a bit of a long game, but being able to walk outside for years without instantly sneezing? Life-changing.
The pill also protects against thunderstorm asthma, which is a big win for wheezy wenches.
There is one caveat, though: Professor van Zelm told Melbourne’s 3AW radio station the pill won’t work amazingly for all allergy sufferers.
“It works in many people but not in everyone,” he said.
“It really depends on how severe it is. If it‘s really mild I would at this stage recommend using antihistamine, but you should talk to your GP.”
The pill will only be available via prescription, but it hasn’t been confirmed when you’ll be able to get your hot little hands on it. Me and my schnoz are praying it’s soon.