Food Oral Immunotherapy (OIT) is the process of reducing a person’s sensitivity to foods that cause allergic reactions. Over time, the immune system is retrained to tolerate food proteins (allergens) by introducing small amounts of the allergic food on a regular basis. OIT has been successfully used to treat allergies to many different foods such as peanut, tree nuts, milk, egg, wheat and others.
Frequently Asked Questions About Oral Immunotherapy
The food allergic patient will eat increasing amounts of the specific food allergen over an extended period of time. This change in the body’s immune system is associated with the ability to tolerate the food when eaten.
The ultimate goal of OIT is to improve the quality of life for the patient by reducing fear of food, minimizing daily efforts to avoid trace amounts of the food allergen and removing the stigma of a food allergy.
In 2020, the FDA approved the first commercially developed product for peanut OIT. Additional foods are being investigated for pharmaceutical development. However, OIT can be provided for other food allergies using readily purchased foods under the supervision of an experienced board-certified allergist using established protocols.
We welcome you to discuss OIT with our board-certified allergists to see if OIT is a good treatment option for you.