Real-World Experience with Peanut Oral Immunotherapy: Lessons Learned From 270 Patients

J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2019 Feb;7(2):418-426.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.jaip.2018.05.023. Epub 2018 May 30.


Background: Peanut allergy (PA) is a significant and increasing problem, interfering with psychological development and family life. The standard recommendation to avoid peanut products and have access to injectable epinephrine is often inadequate. Oral immunotherapy for PA has been formally studied. Clinical observations of allergen immunotherapy have repeatedly enhanced patient care.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to report observations on the treatment of 270 patients with PA over 8.5 years.

Methods: This is a retrospective record review of patients beginning peanut oral immunotherapy between January 1, 2009, and June 1, 2017, approved by the North Texas Institutional Review Board.

Results: A total of 270 patients aged 4 to 18 years comprising 107 girls and 163 boys were treated. A total of 214 of 270 patients (79%) completed immunotherapy escalation. Age (P < .001) and peanut IgE (P < .001) correlate inversely with completing dose escalation. Epinephrine-treated reactions in 63 and isolated gastrointestinal symptoms in 101 patients, respectively, were the most common adverse reactions to treatment but did not preclude success. Peanut IgE decreased by 65% after 3 years of maintenance treatment and 14 of 214 patients (6.5%) were able to achieve sustained unresponsiveness.

Conclusions: In an allergy office practice setting, 79% of patients are able to complete a peanut desensitization protocol and maintain the desensitized state indefinitely with daily dosing. With appropriate planning and precautions, peanut oral immunotherapy may be performed in an allergy office. Careful observations of clinical treatment can contribute to the development of effective treatment strategies.

Keywords: Food allergy; Food allergy immunotherapy; Food allergy reactions; Oral immunotherapy; Peanut allergy; Sustained unresponsiveness.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adolescent
  • Allergens / administration & dosage*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Desensitization, Immunologic / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Peanut Hypersensitivity / therapy*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Allergens