Medications

Ragwitek® tablets   

This product is manufactured by Merck Canada using the ingredient short ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) allergen extract.

This product is taken sublingually.

Why is it prescribed?

This medication is used for the treatment of adults 18 to 65 years of age with a history of allergy to ragweed pollen. Ragweed pollen allergy is characterized by rhinitis (sneezing, runny or itchy nose, stuffed up nose) with or without conjunctivitis (itchy, burning, red or watery eyes).


  • Take the tablet from the blister package after removing the foil with dry hands. Place the tablet immediately under the tongue. Allow it to remain there until completely dissolved. Do not swallow for at least 1 minute. Do not take with food or beverage. Do not eat or drink for the following 5 minutes. Wash hands after taking the tablet.
  • Take the first tablet in your doctor's office. After taking the first tablet, you will be watched for approximately 30 minutes for symptoms of a serious allergic reaction.
  • Have access to an auto-injector form of epinephrine at all times.

Alternatives

See other products used in the treatment of •allergic rhinitis •allergies •hay fever •rhinitis •runny nose •seasonal allergies •seasonal rhinitis •

The recommended dosage is one tablet daily. Initiate dosing at least 12 weeks before the ragweed pollen season and maintain dosing throughout the season.


The immune system is the target of immunotherapy. The aim is to prevent or suppress allergic symptoms, such as allergic rhinitis, through repeated administration of the allergen. The effect of sublingual immunotherapy is thought to be mediated through local and systemic immunomodulatory mechanisms (immune deviation) including changes in allergen specific antibodies and regulatory T- cells leading to long-term tolerance development.


The most commonly reported side effects are:

  • itching of the mouth, lips, or tongue
  • swelling under the tongue
  • throat irritation. 

Do not take if you:

  • have severe or difficult to control asthma
  • have ever had a serious allergic reaction to ragweed allergy shots, tablets or drops
  • are taking beta-blockers (a medicine for heart conditions, such as high blood pressure)
  • have any swelling or sores in your mouth
  • are allergic (hypersensitive) to any of the other ingredients

Do not use if you have severe, unstable or uncontrolled asthma. It can cause severe allergic reactions that may be life-threatening. Stop taking and get medical treatment right away if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • trouble breathing
  • throat tightness or swelling
  • trouble swallowing or speaking
  • dizziness or fainting
  • rapid or weak heartbeat
  • severe stomach cramps or pain, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • severe flushing or itching of the skin


Do not use if you have had difficulty with breathing due to swelling of the throat or upper airway after using any sublingual immunotherapy before.

Drug Interactions:  Short ragweed allergen extract does not appear to have any significant interactions with other medications. However, it is wise to tell your doctor and pharmacist about any prescription or over-the-counter medications you are taking to ensure safety.

Use in pregnancy: No data available.  Therapy should not be started if pregnant.

Use in breastfeeding: No data available.  Check with doctor or pharmacist before use.


Page Last Updated: 05/10/2016