The OIT Program at Allergy Group NJ
Patients and their families no longer
have to live with the fear of food allergy.
Oral immunotherapy or OIT is a new treatment for individuals with life-threatening food allergies, such as allergy to peanut, tree nuts, milk and egg. OIT decreases the patient's sensitivity to a food to the point that the food can be eaten without a reaction.
Who is a candidate for OIT?
Oral immunotherapy is for patients who are at risk for anaphylaxis based on the history and testing results, even including those with very high specific IgE greater than 100 ku/L (class VI). Patients of any age can be treated, including infants. Recent studies have shown that OIT is especially safe and effective in very young children. Allergy Group NJ has a large, well-established OIT program.
The first dose of OIT is introduced in the office with a very small amount of the food with close monitoring. Up to three foods can be treated at the same time. This same dose is taken at home every day and increased every two weeks at office visits. Patients are monitored for side effects, but the most common reactions are mild, such as itching of the mouth or stomach upset. Serious reactions requiring epinephrine do occur but are rare in our experience. OIT also carries a very small risk of developing eosinophilic esophagitis, an inflammation of the esophagus, which is reversible.
Over the course of a year the patient will reach a target dose which must be continued daily in order to maintain protection. The specific target dose will be a matter of shared decision making between the family and their doctor.
Studies have show that 70 to 90 percent of individuals can be desensitized to their food allergy.
Some of the potential benefits of OIT: