The first step in the process is confirming your allergy. This is done by either reviewing your history of allergic reactions and conducting a blood or skin test, or through a food challenge (which involves you eating the food you are thought to be allergic to while being monitored for a reaction).
Once your allergy is confirmed, you will come for another appointment to review the process in detail and then schedule an appointment for your first treatment.
“The first treatment is known as the initial dose escalation,” Dr. Zemble says. “At this appointment, you will start by eating a very small amount of the food you are allergic to and then eat increasing quantities of the food every 20 minutes. The dose will be increased about 10 times.”
After eating your last dose and being monitored for an hour, you will leave and continue to eat that dose at home once a day for at least seven days. At your second appointment, your dose will be increased incrementally (this is known as updosing). Before your next appointment, you will eat your new dose daily.
“The updosing cycle will continue for several months until you reach a predetermined level based on your selected goal for OIT,” Dr. Zemble says. “Based on that goal and your age, your care team will recommend a specific maintenance dose for you to continue taking at home, a personalized follow-up care plan and additional food challenges to test your tolerance level in the future.”