Food Oral Immunotherapy (OIT)
Colorado Allergy & Asthma Centers® is proud to offer immunotherapy treatment options to our patients. Below you will find information about Oral Immunotherapy (OIT). This treatment works to gradually desensitize you to food that caused an allergic reaction. Talk to your allergist to determine if this treatment is right for you.
Food Oral Immunotherapy
Oral immunotherapy, or OIT, is a form of immunotherapy that involves taking small doses of an allergenic food daily. This process does not cure the food allergy but allows an individual to gradually be desensitized to the food and tolerate it in their diet. The food must be eaten daily in order to maintain this desensitized state. This type of oral immunotherapy has been documented for over 100 years in medical literature. However, recent studies and interest have made this type of therapy more mainstream. Colorado Allergy & Asthma Centers® is currently offering food oral immunotherapy through our own protocol adapted from the work and experience of our well-respected colleagues for peanut, cashew, walnut, hazelnut, sesame seed, milk, and egg. In addition, the Food and Drug administration (FDA) in United States recently approved Palforzia, a peanut OIT product.
People who should consider Food OIT include:
- Those with mild to severe allergy to peanut, cashew, walnut, hazelnut, sesame seed, milk, and/or egg (a food challenge or other testing may be necessary to confirm an allergy)
- Those who are able to commit to a regularly scheduled treatment plan including daily home dosing, and visits to the office every 2 weeks
- A responsible adult who is able to handle and supervise home dosing
- The minimum age to start OIT is 18 months
What food allergies can be treated with Food OIT?
- At this time, we offer OIT for peanut, cashew, walnut, hazelnut, sesame seed, milk, and egg allergy.
What Are the Benefits?
- The number one goal is “bite protection.” We know that if we can get someone to tolerate about one peanut, it reduces the risk of an allergic reaction with ingestion of common high-risk packaged foods by 95%.
- OIT can be effective in children to reduce the likelihood of symptoms with accidental exposure of allergenic foods.
- Some individuals may be able to consume food freely in their diet after completing their OIT treatment program.
- After completing the initial dose escalation day and “up-dosing” (gradually increasing servings as directed by a physician), OIT can safely be administered at home.
How long does Food OIT take?
- The typical patient can get to the top dose of OIT in 5-6 months. It could take longer if we have to slow down due to food reactions, infections, or scheduling conflicts on your end.