Oral immunotherapy for peanut allergy in clinical practice is ready

Allergy Asthma Proc. May-Jun 2013;34(3):205-9. doi: 10.2500/aap.2013.34.3666.


Oral immunotherapy (OIT) for peanut allergy is ready for clinical allergy practice. Some physicians, particularly at academic centers, believe that OIT is not ready for clinical practice. The shortcomings of the present general recommendations of food avoidance and provision of epinephrine autoinjectors for a select number of patients demand a different approach. In peanut-allergic patients, the rate of accidental reactions is ~10% annually. Between 1 and 2% of these reactions require epinephrine or emergency department visits. Food allergy and peanut allergy, specifically, have a large negative impact on the quality of life (QOL) for patients and their families, which can be psychosocially debilitating. These decreases in health-related QOL continue into adulthood. There is only an ~20% chance of spontaneous remission in peanut allergy. Given this climate, three private allergy practices have begun providing OIT to 150 patients with peanut anaphylaxis. One hundred eleven (74%) patients were able to tolerate eight peanuts (8 g, ~2 g of protein). During outpatient dosing, epinephrine was used at a rate of 8 per 10,000 doses. To date, there have been no long-term (>24-36 months) unexpected reactions. OIT decreases risk and in one study, conducted in a practice setting, it was shown to improve QOL. OIT is a meaningful clinical procedure that can help our patients.

Publication types

  • Editorial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Desensitization, Immunologic / adverse effects
  • Desensitization, Immunologic / methods*
  • Humans
  • Peanut Hypersensitivity / therapy*
  • Private Practice
  • Quality of Life
  • Treatment Outcome