Oral Immunotherapy Shown to Be Safe For Children With Peanut Allergies

Apr 26, 2019 | Allergies, Oral Immunotherapy, Peanut Allergy

In an issue of The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, a study was published that proved regular oral immunotherapy (OIT) treatments were safe for preschoolers that had peanut allergies. What this study hoped to accomplish was “To confirm the safety of preschool peanut OIT in a much larger sample of patients in the real world” according to Dr. Edmond Chan, a senior author of the study. So every two weeks, the participating children visited pediatric allergists and received small doses of peanuts. They also received similar doses at home, though it increased with each day until they got to a maximum of “300 mg of peanut protein” as stated by the Times Now news channel in India.

The children were also given epinephrine, with instructions given to their parents about the proper doses and when not to do OIT doses which tended to be during bad colds/flus.  At the end of the study, the researchers discovered “243 children (90 per cent) reached the maintenance stage successfully, while 27 children, or 10 percent, dropped out” Times Now says and that it took “An average duration of 22 weeks of oral immunotherapy for patients to reach the maintenance stage”. The study group plans to examine the long-term effects of oral immunotherapy and the lack of response from those who stop taking daily OIT doses of peanuts in the hopes that it will give healthcare practitioners guidance on how to treat preschoolers with peanut allergies.

About Oral Immunotherapy

Oral Immunotherapy (OIT) is a form of treatment for allergies that involves giving the patient small amounts of the food they’re allergic to in order to build a stronger response from the patient’s immune system. Regarding peanut allergies, there have been prior clinical trials that used oral immunotherapy on older children. But according to the study’s leading author Lianne Soller “There has been a lack of real-world data due to safety concerns of offering this treatment to preschoolers outside of a research setting”.

About Epinephrine

 Another term for adrenaline, it’s a type of hormone that increases the rate of things like blood circulation breathing and different metabolisms in stressful situations. For this reason, epinephrine-based drugs are often used to treat allergic reactions and asthma attacks at their most severe via injections because it forces the body to calm down, relaxing the body’s muscles and tightening blood vessels. But it is not a cure as proper medical attention should be given after the drug is injected.


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