Oral immunotherapy (OIT)
What food allergies can you treat with OIT?
Our OIT program covers allergies for peanut, tree-nuts, eggs, milk, soy, wheat, sesame and sunflower. Our OIT program is offered at all 4 locations: Maplewood, Burnsville, Woodbury and West St. Paul.
What is the goal of OIT?
The goal of OIT is unique for each patient depending on history, testing, and family preference. Many choose OIT so that over time they can freely eat food that previously threatened their health. Patients that “graduate” our OIT program will continue to keep taking one serving of that food every day to keep up their resistance.
How Does OIT Work?
The OIT process can be broken down into four phases:
Initial dosing: Seven to 13 doses are given in a single day (occurs during a four-six hour time period under physician supervision).
Build up dosing: The dose is increased incrementally every 1-2 weeks under observation until the maintenance dose is reached, usually over a period of about 8 months.
Maintenance dosing: Doses are taken daily for years depending on the physician’s recommendation.
Along with taking the maintenance doses, patients get long-term resistance and the ability to eat the foods that previously threatened your health.
Here is a video that explains OIT in greater depth:
How do I know if I or my child is a candidate for this treatment?
OIT is worth considering for anyone suffering from food allergies. We’ll be able to determine if OIT is a good choice for you or your child in our first consult. Keep in mind that this is at minimum at 8-month commitment where you’ll be visiting our clinic weekly to increase doses.
What is the risk of OIT?
Whenever you’re dealing with allergy immunotherapy, there is a risk of reaction. We’ll be introducing and increasing doses of food allergens over the period of treatment. If there ever is a serious reaction to the food, our staff is available 24/7 to address any concerns.
How long does the process take?
Most of our patients finish the OIT process around 8 months. Most hiccups in the process come from delaying a visit due to sickness.
What is the age range to start OIT?
Our clinic offers OIT starting at 6 months of age through adulthood.
If my child is allergic to multiple foods will completing OIT for one food help treat other food allergies?
Each food OIT program is food specific. Completing one program does not treat other food allergies. Ask your provider for more specific information for treating multiple food allergies.