Information updates

Online allergy testing

1 July 2020

ASCIA does NOT recommend online allergy testing.

Evidence-based tests and treatments for allergic disease can greatly improve the management of allergic disease and  quality of life. In contrast, the use of unscientific methods (including online allergy testing), that claim to test for, or treat allergies can result in misdiagnosis and ineffective treatments. 

Online tests and treatments for allergies/intolerances are NOT recommended for the following reasons: 

  • Use of unscientific methods for allergy/intolerances can result in misdiagnosis and ineffective treatments, which lead to potential harm, additional healthcare encounters, increased costs for the patient or carer and a greater burden on the healthcare system.
  • Unscientific tests for food intolerances can lead to unnecessary food restrictions that cause nutritional problems in adults and children, and growth issues in children.
  • Evidence-based allergy tests should only be ordered, performed and interpreted in the context of a clinical history, by a clinical immunology/allergy specialist, other doctor or nurse practitioner who are trained in allergy.
  • Evidence-based allergy treatments should only be prescribed following the interpretation of allergy test results in the context of a clinical history, by a clinical immunology/allergy specialist, other doctor or nurse practitioner who are trained in allergy.

The problems associated with therapeutic goods, services, or devices which claim to diagnose or treat allergies are addressed in recommendation 24 in the Report from the Parliamentary Inquiry into Allergies and Anaphylaxis, which states: The Committee recommends that the Therapeutic Goods Administration and any other relevant authorities, such as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) conduct an independent, evidence-based review into all therapeutic goods, services, or devices which claim to diagnose or treat allergies. 

To view the Report go to: 
Inquiry Into Allergies and Anaphylaxis: Walking The Allergy Tightrope 

To view the ASCIA submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Allergies and Anaphylaxis go to: 
www.allergy.org.au/ascia-reports#s1

For information about evidence based allergy tests and treatments go to:

www.allergy.org.au/patients/allergy-testing

www.allergy.org.au/patients/allergy-treatment

For information about unscientific methods go to:

www.allergy.org.au/patients/allergy-testing/unorthodox-testing-and-treatment   

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