Updated ASCIA OIT for Food Allergy Position Paper - April 2023
ASCIA Oral Immunotherapy (OIT) for Food Allergy Position Paper for health professionals has been updated in April 2023 and is available open access on the ASCIA website: www.allergy.org.au/hp/papers/ascia-oral-immunotherapy-for-food-allergy
The ASCIA OIT for Food Allergy Position Paper includes the following current ASCIA recommendations for management of food allergy:
- Currently, ASCIA does not recommend food OIT as a routine clinical treatment for patients with food allergy. For most patients, with the exception of patients with egg and milk allergy who tolerate those foods in baked forms, strict avoidance of confirmed food allergens remains the standard of care. This recommendation will remain in place until the long-term efficacy and safety of food OIT is optimised, and long-term patient-important and other clinically relevant outcomes are shown to be improved by OIT.
- There remains potential for OIT to provide long term benefits for patients with food allergy. ASCIA strongly supports the provision of clinical trials to address this data gap and increased access to OIT in clinical trials for those patients and families who wish to undertake OIT.
- While ASCIA recommends that food OIT should be undertaken in the context of a clinical trial, these opportunities may not always be available to patients. If food OIT is being considered outside of a clinical trial, ASCIA recommends a shared decision-making process with appropriate expert consultation and documentation of informed consent, and that OIT is provided under the supervision of a clinical immunology/allergy specialist, as part of a multidisciplinary team with expertise in food OIT. In these circumstances, ASCIA recommends that standardised measures of safety, effectiveness and patient-reported outcomes are collected to address the current gaps in knowledge.
- If such therapy is undertaken, OIT should be performed using published peer reviewed treatment protocols. Dose increases must take place with qualified staff in a facility that has the necessary equipment to treat anaphylaxis. Prior to commencing OIT, a clinical diagnosis of allergy to the food in question must be established; a diagnosis cannot be based on skin tests or blood tests in isolation. A supervised oral food allergen challenge in an appropriate setting may be needed to confirm the diagnosis or to establish a reaction threshold.
- Any patient receiving OIT should have an adrenaline injector available at all times. Comprehensive anaphylaxis education regarding the recognition and management of anaphylaxis should be provided for the patient and/or their carers and a written management plan should be provided. Clear written information about when to avoid a dose (for example, prior to exercise) should be provided.
This is an important ASCIA document which will next be reviewed and updated in 2024, once a systematic review on food allergy treatments is completed, which we expect will be in late 2023.
ASCIA OIT for Food Allergy Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for patients and carers is also available on the ASCIA website:
This news item was issued on 14 April 2023 by Jill Smith, CEO of ASCIA, the peak professional body for clinical immunology and allergy in Australia and New Zealand.