Oral Desensitization

Food Allergy Treatment



Food Allergy Oral Desensitization

Due to the overwhelming response and additional questions we published a new website dedicated to oral immunotherapy.





Oral desensitization (oral immunotherapy) involves giving a minute amount of food and increasing over time.  The goal is to be able to tolerate the food with no need for avoidance.


The first published article about oral desensitization for food was published in the early 1900's and has been under study since then.  More recently there have been a number of studies across the world.  (select references below)

  • Oral desensitization for food hypersensitivity. Immunol & Allergy Clin North Am. 31(2):367-76, xi, 2011 May.
  • Successful oral desensitization for systemic peanut allergy. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 97. 266-267. 2006
  • Oral peanut immunotherapy for peanut allergic patients. J Allergy Clin Immunol 119. 2007
  • Oral Desensitization in Children with Cow’s Milk Allergy. Journal of Investigative Allergy and Clinical Immunology 2008; 18(5): 389-396.
  • Specific oral tolerance induction in children with very severe cow’s milk-induced reactions. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 2008; 121: 343-7
  • A protocol for oral desensitization in children with IgE mediated cow’s milk allergy. Allergy 2004; 59: 980-7
  • Egg oral immunotherapy in nonanaphylactic children with egg allergy. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 2007; 119: 119-205
  • A randomized, double blind, placebo controlled study of milk oral immunotherapy for cow’s milk allergy. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 2008; 122: 1154-60.

     Is oral immunotherapy a cure?
     The truth is we do not know.  We know that oral immunotherapy will induce tolerance and allow eating the food.  What we do not know as of yet is how long the treatment will need to continue. 


    We currently are treating peanut, milk, soy, wheat, tree nuts, sesame seed and egg allergies.


    The procedure starts with the induction day where a extraordinarily small dose of the allergen is fed orally and slowly increased throughout the day.   The procedure lasts the whole day (approximately 7-8 hrs).  The last tolerated dose will be given at home twice daily.  Over the next 4-6 months the patient will return weekly for elevating doses of the food (one hour office visit).


    Once the maintenance dose is reached, the previously allergenic food will be able to be introduced into the diet.


    Who is eligible?
    You must be at 3 years of age. Desensitization works in both adults and children.


    How do we start?
    -Call and set up an appointment. 
    -Bring past testing results, skin/blood.
    -If the diagnosis of food allergy has not been fully confirmed (very common to have incomplete), then we may discuss an oral challenge or additional testing.



    Frequently Asked Questions: