OIT update – April 2019
My 15 year old son Sahil is currently in the maintenance phase of a food allergy treatment called oral immunotherapy (OIT). He has been eating two peanuts (2 grams) daily since October 2017.
The daily dose is necessary to maintain the desensitization to peanuts. Because he ingests 2 peanuts a day he is able to safely consume foods which have been cross contaminated with peanuts or “may contain peanuts”. He still avoids food which have peanut ingredients like peanut butter or peanut sauces.
In 2018, he passed various oral food challenges and since then has successfully incorporated tree nuts (walnuts, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts) and soy protein in to his diet.
Since reaching the maintenance dose he has occasionally downdosed to the illness dose of 1/4 peanut due to illness, seasonal allergy symptoms or travel. After downdosing he is able to build back up to the daily dose of 2 peanuts without experiencing any symptoms.
On April 17th, Sahil & I went to Burlington for his 18 month follow up appointment.
This year the wheal has decreased to 6 mm! We won’t do bloodwork again until October 2019 so we don’t know if the peanut IgE numbers have decreased.
His allergist is happy with Sahil’s progress and says he should continue eating 2 peanuts daily. He can try Peanut M&Ms for his dose instead of plain peanuts but he should not try peanut butter or Reese’s pieces/peanut butter cups yet. He also has to continue with the 2 hour rest period following his peanut dose.
Sahil’s next appointment will be in October 2019 after 2 years of maintenance. Thankfully, Sahil is committed to daily dosing as it has lessened the burden of food allergy.
In response to the release of a recent meta-analysis of OIT clinical trials Sahil was interviewed by CTV News; in the clip he says OIT has given him freedom. He still carries his epi-pen and checks ingredients but he does not have limitations on his social life, or anxiety about accidental exposure. For him – maintenance is freedom.