Allergy extracts are currently in the process of being standardized by the FDA to ensure that potency is consistent from lot to lot. If not standardized, allergy extracts prepared from natural sources such as pollen, animals, and other allergens will vary in potency. One batch could be stronger than the next, making it more difficult to treat patients. So far, no allergy extracts are approved for sensitivity to foods, latex, or chemicals such as hair sprays, perfumes, or cigarette smoke.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been working to standardize the biological extracts used to test and treat patients with allergies.
Currently, extracts prepared from natural sources such as pollens, animals, and foods that trigger allergic reactions will vary in potency if they are not standardized. Without standardization, each extract is an unknown. One batch could be stronger than the next, making it more difficult to treat patients and raising safety concerns.
Manufacturers are working to standardize extracts so they are consistent in potency from lot to lot. Currently, the FDA has approved standardized allergy extracts for:
- Short ragweed
- Bees and other stinging insect venoms
- Dust mites
Moreover, the FDA is requiring that eight grass and pollen extracts be standardized. Non-standardized extracts of cockroach (an important cause of inner-city asthma), giant ragweed, mold, peanuts, dog dander, and feathers are proposed for future standardization.
No allergy extracts are approved for sensitivity to:
- Chemicals such as hair sprays, perfumes, or cigarette smoke.