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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2009 Aug;124(2):286-91, 291.e1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2009.03.045. Epub 2009 May 27.

Safety of a peanut oral immunotherapy protocol in children with peanut allergy.

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Division of Allergy and Immunology, Department of Pediatrics, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.



Oral immunotherapy (OIT) offers a promising therapeutic option for peanut allergy. Given that during OIT an allergic patient ingests an allergen that could potentially cause a serious reaction, the safety of OIT is of particular concern.


The purpose of this study was to examine safety during the initial escalation day, buildup phase, and home dosing phase in subjects enrolled in a peanut OIT study.


Skin, upper respiratory tract, chest, and abdominal symptoms were recorded with initial escalation day and buildup phase dosings. Subjects also maintained daily diaries detailing symptoms after each home dosing. A statistical analysis of these data was performed.


Twenty of 28 patients completed all phases of the study. During the initial escalation day, upper respiratory tract (79%) and abdominal (68%) symptoms were the most likely symptoms experienced. The risk of mild wheezing during the initial escalation day was 18%. The probability of having any symptoms after a buildup phase dose was 46%, with a risk of 29% for upper respiratory tract symptoms and 24% for skin symptoms. The risk of reaction with any home dose was 3.5%. Upper respiratory tract (1.2%) and skin (1.1%) symptoms were the most likely after home doses. Treatment was given with 0.7% of home doses. Two subjects received epinephrine after 1 home dose each.


Subjects were more likely to have significant allergic symptoms during the initial escalation day when they were in a closely monitored setting than during other phases of the study. Allergic reactions with home doses were rare.

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