Grazax (grass allergen extract)
Grazax is a new immunotherapeutic orodispersible tablet for treatment of allergic rhino-conjunctivitis (AR) caused by grass pollen.
Grazax reduces the symptoms of AR and reduces the need for symptomatic treatment better than placebo, but only when treatment is initiated 10-16 weeks before the pollen season. Consequently, patients have to take one tablet every day for 6 months to be treated in one season.
Grazax has neither been compared to symptomatic treatment of AR, nor to subcutaneous immunotherapy. Long term effects still remain unknown.
Adverse effects are common but mild and local. Pruritus in the oral cavity is one. Only a limited number of more severe adverse effects, including swelling of mouth and throat, have been seen. No severe anaphylactic events have been reported.
The cost for one season’s treatment with Grazax is 6,300 dkr. It is possible to apply for single reimbursement.
IRF still recommends symptomatic treatment of AR as first line treatment. Immunotherapy should only be considered if local or systemic symptomatic treatment is insufficient. Until further documentation is available Grazax is to be seen rather as symptomatic treatment than as preventive or curative. Thus, Grazax is only to be considered in special cases when immunotherapy is indicated.
Grazax was marketed 2 January 2007.
Institute for Rational Pharmacotherapy, 24 January 2007