Over the past few decades, the incidence of allergic disease has increased with rates of food allergy growing by two - three fold.
- CDC, 2019
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 by the patient is increased until they are able to eat a typical serving of that food. This process was first described approximately 100 years ago and it has been rigorously evaluated over the past 25 years.
In clinical studies, typically more than 85% of patients who start this therapy successfully tolerate significant amounts of the food they are allergic to.
Evidence suggests that younger children may be more successful!
Multiple randomized, controlled and blinded trials have been performed and published over the past decade. Two Phase 2 trials have been published for peanut OIT with a recent high-powered randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled Phase 3 trial reported for peanut allergy. This Phase 3 trial confirmed that patients that had completed OIT were able to safely ingest significant amounts of peanut with little to no reaction.
For many of our families, quality of life also improves significantly. This is confirmed in multiple studies that have evaluated the psychosocial burden of food allergy and OIT.
Allergy clinics offer this therapy across North America and in other countries, and over 8000 patients have been treated in Japan alone. Multiple countries, and more recently the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, have written consensus guidelines suggesting OIT as an effective treatment option for the management of food allergy.
Halton Pediatric Allergy currently offers the most extensive and comprehensive private practice OIT treatment program in Canada. Over our many years of performing OIT, we have developed a very structured process that involves extensive education, counselling and support in order to maintain patient safety.
We are happy to discuss this process with you in detail. Your first step is to obtain a referral from your doctor to our clinic.
THIS IS AN UNINSURED SERVICE THROUGH OHIP.
The evaluation of food allergy is billed under OHIP, however, the management of food allergy using oral immunotherapy is not current covered under OHIP. We are happy to answer any questions you may have on this.