Allergist offers desensitization to food allergic children: "There you go. Hit it"

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"Allergist Dr. Richard Wasserman started this food desensitization program 18 months ago. It's a rigorous, risky treatment that can last up to six months.

Dr. Wasserman admits there are allergists who think this treatment is too risky, exposes patients to much potential harm. Another allergist said that this is promising, but has not been studied enough.

Dr. Wasserman says the program costs about 5-thousand-dollars if all goes smoothly. Some insurance companies do pay for it."

What is the difference between desensitization and tolerance in food allergy?

Oral immunotherapy (OIT) successfully induced desensitization in peanut allergy. Can OIT induce tolerance too?

Desensitization is an increase in threshold of ingested food antigen needed to cause allergic symptoms (achieved w OIT).

Tolerance is the induction of long-term immunologic changes with the ability to ingest food without symptoms and WITHOUT ongoing THERAPY.

Oral immunotherapy (OIT) is not read for prime time yet, according to the leading food allergy experts from Mount Sinai, Duke University, and Johns Hopkins.


Food Allergies. WRCBtv.
Adverse reactions during peanut oral immunotherapy home dosing. JACI, Volume 124, Issue 6, Pages 1351-1352 (December 2009).
Office-based oral immunotherapy for food allergy is safe and effective - according to the Texas allergist group that uses it
Peanut oral immunotherapy (20 peanuts) induces desensitization, however questions about long-term tolerance remain. JACI, 2011.
Oral immunotherapy for peanut allergy - interview with Dr. Wesley Burks: clearly 15-20% will not tolerate the treatment
Oral immunotherapy for food allergy in the news: "Girl sneaks peanuts past her allergy" - Still experimental.
Sublingual and oral immunotherapy for milk allergy. Desensitization was lost in some cases within 1 week off therapy. JACI, 2011.
The place of oral desensitization in the practice of allergy at this time is in flux - see why: 

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