Over the past few decades, the incidence of allergic disease has increased with rates of food allergy growing by two – three fold.
Oral immunotherapy (OIT) for food is a process in which a food allergic patient is given very small amounts of the food that they are allergic to, such as peanut or milk. Gradually over a period of 6 – 8 months, the amount of food ingested patient is increased. The goal of OIT is long-term risk mitigation.
OIT is an uninsured service and is not covered through OHIP.
Oral immunotherapy (OIT) is the gradually increasing exposure of a food allergen (i.e. peanut) to a person with that particular IgE-mediated food allergy. These exposures are progressively increased over time during clinic visits and daily exposure is maintained, often for life. The goal of OIT is to mitigate potential allergen exposures that may occur in real life.
There is limited data on the long-term tolerance associated with this type of therapy; thus, if OIT is discontinued, the patient will very likely return to their initial state of allergy as though they had never undergone this therapy. While some very young children may experience clinical remission, OIT is considered a lifelong therapy for most patients.