Grastek

Grastek is an allergen extract used to treat grass-pollen induced allergic rhinitis. It may cause severe and life-threatening allergic reactions.

Grastek Overview

Reviewed: November 19, 2014
Updated: 

Grastek is an allergen extract used to treat grass-pollen induced allergic rhinitis.  

Grastek belongs to a group of drugs called allergen extracts. These are used as immunotherapy to treat allergies. The precise mechanism of action of allergen extracts is not known.

This medication comes in a sublingual tablet form and is taken one time a day, without food or beverage.

Do not chew, divide, or break Grastek tablets. Place the entire tablet under the tongue and allow it to remain there until completely dissolved.

Common side effects of Grastek include itching of the ears, itching of the tongue and oral cavity, swelling of the mouth, and throat irritation.

Grastek can also cause drowsiness and dizziness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how Grastek affects you.

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Grastek Cautionary Labels

precautionsprecautions

Uses of Grastek

Grass pollen extract is a prescription medication used to treat symptoms of moderate to severe seasonal grass pollen allergic rhinitis with or without conjunctivitis in patients 5 to 50 years of age.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Manufacturer

Grastek Drug Class

Grastek is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Grastek

Serious side effects have been reported with grass pollen extract. See the “ grass pollen extract Precautions” section.

Common side effects of grass pollen extract include the following:

  • Oral pruritus
  • Throat irritation
  • Ear pruritus
  • Mild to moderate local allergic reactions (i.e. oral swelling or discomfort)

This is not a complete list of grass pollen extract side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

 

 

Grastek Interactions

No drug interactions have been determined by the manufacturer. However, you should tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Not all drug interactions are known or reported and new drug interactions are continually being reported.

Grastek Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with grass pollen extract including the following:

  • Allergic reactions. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have some or all of the following symptoms of allergic reactions.
    • sensation of swelling in the throat
    • difficulty swallowing 
    • breathing or voice changes
  • hypersensitivity

  • diarrhea

  • angioneurotic edema

Do not take grass pollen extract if you:

  • are allergic to grass pollen extract or to any of its ingredients
  • have extreme sensitivity to the specific allergen determined from previous anaphylaxis following exposure.
  • are on beta-blockers or on ACE inhibitors
  • have severe and/or unstable asthma
  • have severe immune deficiency or auto-immune disease
  • have an autoimmune disease
  • have malignant diseases (e.g. cancer)
  • have oral inflammations

 

 

Grastek Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of grass pollen extract, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.

Inform MD

Before taking grass pollen extract, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • are allergic to grass pollen extract or to any of its ingredients
  • have severe immune deficiency or an auto-immune disease
  • are being treated with beta-blockers or ACE inhibitors
  • have oral inflammations
  • have cancer
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Grastek and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

The manufacturer has not determined the category for grass pollen extract.

Grastek and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

It is not known if grass pollen extract crosses into human milk. Because many medications can cross into human milk and because of the possibility for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants with use of this medication, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or stop the use of this medication. Your doctor and you will decide if the benefits outweigh the risk of using grass pollen extract.

Grastek Usage

Take grass pollen extract exactly as prescribed.

Grass pollen extract comes in a sublingual tablet tablet form and is taken once a day, in the morning.

Take grass pollen extract on an empty stomach.

Patients should wash their hands before and after taking the tablets to prevent contamination.

The tablet must be placed under the tongue and held there until it is completely dissolved (for at least 1 minute) and the dose is swallowed.

If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses of grass pollen extract at the same time.

Grastek Dosage

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

In adults and children (above the age of 5), the dose will gradually be increased for 3 days. (The dose may need to be increased slower than 3 days if undesirable side effects occur)
 
The 3-day gradual increase consists of the following:
  • Day 1: 100 IR (Index of Reactivity)
  • Day 2: 200 IR (Index of Reactivity) Take 2 tablets of 100 IR simultaneously, with both tablets held under the tongue.
  • Day 3: 300 IR (Index of Reactivity) Take 1 tablet of 300 IR.

The recommended dose for grass pollen extract for the treatment of symptoms of moderate to severe seasonal grass pollen allergic rhinitis is 300 IR (Index of Reactivity) per day until the end of the pollen season.

Grastek Overdose

If you take too much grass pollen extract, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.

Other Requirements

  • It is recommended that the first tablet of grass pollen extract is taken under medical supervision and that the patient is monitored for 30 minutes.
  • Treatment should be initiated about 4 months before the expected onset of the pollen season and must be maintained throughout the pollen season.
  • Store at room temperature (15°C to 30°C).
  • Store in the original package in order to protect from moisture. The tablet should remain in the sealed blister until use.
  • Keep out of reach of children.