Oral Immunotherapy

An Effective Food Allergy Treatment

Having food allergies can be stressful, not only for the person with the allergy, but also for family and friends. The constant worry of watching out for specific allergens can be exhausting, and trying to avoid those allergens isn’t foolproof.

We know these fears firsthand because Latitude was founded by parents of children with food allergies. Oral immunotherapy (OIT) changed our lives. We built this program to help families reduce anxiety and open up a life of new possibilities. Avoidance is no longer the only option.

What is Oral Immunotherapy (OIT)?

Oral Immunotherapy is a food allergy treatment that helps desensitize patients to their allergens by giving them small amounts of their allergen on a regular basis, building up the body’s tolerance to those foods. The amount of food is gradually increased over time, with the goal of desensitizing the body to larger quantities, thereby protecting against severe reaction to accidental exposures and increasing quality of life. Over time, OIT retrains the immune system to decrease adverse reactions to the specific allergen.

What Foods Can Be Treated with OIT?

The OIT process can be effective for any food that triggers an allergic reaction (specifically an IgE-mediated allergic reaction), and thus can be used to treat any food allergy. Some allergists prefer to only offer OIT for a handful of foods, or may restrict the treatment process to one allergen at a time. While this can work, it may not address all types of food allergies and can extend treatment time.

After helping thousands of patients with their food allergies, Latitude offers OIT for single and multiple food allergies to any food, including common allergens such as egg, milk, peanut, tree nuts, wheat, soy, seafood, fish, and sesame, as well as other less-common allergens like mustard and coconut.

Is Oral Immunotherapy Safe?

Oral immunotherapy may sound challenging or even scary, particularly for patients who have experienced severe allergic reactions in the past. Yet, when conducted under the guidance of a trained clinician, OIT is both safe and effective in treating food allergies. In fact, 92% of Latitude OIT patients successfully reach maintenance, are desensitized to their allergens, and can live more freely.

Importantly, OIT should never be attempted without clinical supervision. At Latitude, we develop a customized plan for our patients based on medical history and risk profiles. Reactions can occur during OIT, but are usually limited to rashes, hives, itching, or stomach upset. Your initial doses will be consumed under the close supervision of our clinical team to ensure that any allergic reaction is resolved immediately.

When treatment is administered under the care of an expert clinical team, OIT is safe for patients of all ages, including toddlers as young as 12 months old and young children. The use of Xolair® (omalizumab), as part of an overall treatment plan, is also an option for our patients over 4 years old.

OIT Patient Experience

Highly recommended. And as we go through the OIT process we have seen them for almost a year now. We feel SO LUCKY to have found them…Their offices are the epitome of what you would want your allergic kid to experience at an allergist.” — Lily, Mother of Patient

Read More Patient Experiences

What is Latitude’s Approach To Food Allergy Treatment?

Latitude’s evidence-based program is built on clinical studies and protocols from leading research institutions, including Stanford, Duke, and Baylor. Our clinical partnerships with UCSF and Weill-Cornell ensure that we continue to provide the highest level of specialized food allergy care.

Your Personalized Treatment Plan

      • Developed by your Latitude provider in partnership with you and your family
      • Addresses your specific allergens and goals in a way that works for you

Bi-weekly Clinic Visits

      • To start, you’ll come in for your initial OIT visit and first dose
      • You’ll return about every 2+ weeks for small updoses, for 6-9 months
      • At each visit, our team will be ready with your specially-prepared doses 

We Are Here For You

      • Our team is by your side every step of the way
      • We carefully monitor your progress
      • And we are available 24/7 via the OIT patient hotline

How Long Does Oral Immunotherapy Take?

The duration of OIT will vary depending on the patient’s goals, specific allergens, adherence to treatment, and other factors. In most cases, OIT updosing can be completed within 6 to 9 months to get to the point of safety from accidental exposure. Some allergens including milk, egg, wheat, shrimp, and fish may require a slightly longer process.

What is the Oral Immunotherapy Process Like at Latitude?

If you’re ready to begin your Latitude food allergy care journey, you can rest assured that you’re in good hands. We’ve helped thousands of people safely take control of their food allergies, with precise diagnosis and treatment options like oral immunotherapy (OIT).

Diagnostic Testing

We’ll use testing and clinical history to find out what foods you are truly allergic to. Our gold standard testing protocols include skin prick tests and oral food challenges. 86% of Latitude’s patients who undergo an oral food challenge discover they can eat foods they had previously been avoiding!

Learn more about our food allergy testing process.

Initial Dosing

You’ll desensitize to a single allergen or multiple allergens simultaneously by consuming slowly-increasing amounts of the food under clinical supervision. At your 1st OIT appointment in the clinic, you’ll start by eating very small amounts of your allergen food(s) in flour form mixed with a tasty snack. Your provider will closely monitor you.

At Home

We’ll send you home with your custom OIT kit containing the supplies you need to safely take your daily dose. The clinical hotline is available 24/7 for urgent needs.

Updose Appointments

You’ll come into the clinic regularly to increase your dose. We recommend coming into the clinic every two weeks for the most efficient treatment. However, if you can’t come in exactly 2 weeks later, that is fine. We will schedule appointments that fit with your schedule. Soon, you’ll transition from flour to increasing amounts of the regular food, until you reach your goal!

Achieving Maintenance and Beyond…

At your final treatment appointment, you will consume your first maintenance dose: the amount of your food(s) that you will continue eating daily to ensure ongoing protection. Long-term dosing helps you achieve a life-changing level of protection, resulting in reduced anxiety around food and improvement in quality of life. We will celebrate this amazing achievement AND provide long-term support including periodic testing and dose calibration.

What Happens When I Complete Oral Immunotherapy?

Oral Immunotherapy is a unique therapy that aims to bring patients to a “maintenance” phase. In other words, while your active treatment phase of OIT will eventually reach a stopping point, your at-home dosing is ongoing. Our goal is to help get your immune system to a safe desensitization point. At this point, your allergist will work with you to build a plan to continue oral immunotherapy at home by consuming small amounts of a “maintenance dose” of your allergens each day. This will ensure that your immune system remains desensitized and provides ongoing protection against accidental exposure.

While you may be ingesting powders or flours in the early stages of the active treatment phase, by the time you reach maintenance, your dose will consist of the actual food. For example, if you are undergoing OIT for peanut allergy, during the maintenance phase, you will be instructed to eat a specific amount of peanuts each day.

Stopping your at-home maintenance dosing without clinician guidance can be dangerous, as your body might lose some of the tolerance it has built up. You may need to rebuild your immune system tolerance by consuming progressively larger doses over time before safely restarting your maintenance dose. To safely maintain your desensitization and protection from accidental exposure, you will need to consume small doses of the allergen(s) daily. Talk to your allergist to learn more about what’s involved once you move to your maintenance phase.

How to Start Oral Immunotherapy

Are you or someone you love impacted by a food allergy? Improve your quality of life and unlock a better future with Latitude Food Allergy Care. Latitude offers comprehensive food allergy care, including testing, treatment, and prevention, for patients of all ages. Contact us today to schedule a no-obligation conversation with one of our Patient Care Coordinators.

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