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Regular Consumption of Dietary Peanut Possible Years After Immunotherapy Trials

AAAAI News Release

AAAAI Annual Meeting

April Presnell 

Research presented at the AAAAI Annual Meeting suggests peanut food equivalents may help patients maintain desensitization after immunotherapy trials have been completed

San Francisco, CA – A lot of questions remain about long-term allergy outcomes following immunotherapy. A new study presented at the 2019 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) Annual Meeting has found that the ability to incorporate peanut food equivalents into the diet is maintained years after completing food immunotherapy.

Fifty-five past participants in peanut immunotherapy trials were enrolled in a longitudinal observational study. Peanut food equivalent ingestion and associated reactions were reviewed for patients who had completed either oral or sublingual immunotherapy from 2010 until 2017.

The majority of patients (89%) were continuing to ingest peanut at the time of follow-up. Adverse reactions and taste aversion were the most cited reasons for discontinuation of peanut ingestion. Of the participants remaining, 74% consumed peanut daily. While 23.8% of patients reported reactions including gastrointestinal symptoms and urticaria (also known as hives), most symptoms could be treated with antihistamines. One reaction required epinephrine and two required emergency medical services.

“The majority of patients enrolled in this study continued to consume peanut food equivalents up to eight years after their original immunotherapy trials,” said author Edwin H. Kim, MD, FAAAAI. “Food equivalents may be safe for certain patients following immunotherapy, and could help reduce the risk of peanut allergy sensitivities returning. That being said, no patient with peanut allergies should take it upon themselves to try peanut food equivalents without working with their doctor.”

There was no correlation between the amount of peanut food equivalent ingested and the likelihood of a reaction. Participants in sublingual immunotherapy trials on average consumed less peanut than those enrolled in oral immunotherapy trials. Oral immunotherapy patients were more likely to report adverse reactions.

“It is exciting that we are even talking about potentially reintroducing peanut into the diets of allergic children. However, there is still a lot we don’t know about peanut immunotherapy,” said Dr. Kim. “Different types of immunotherapy, age and numerous other factors need to be studied to help us understand what treatment plan is best for our patients.”

Visit to learn more about food allergy. Research presented at the AAAAI Annual Meeting, February 22-25 in San Francisco, California, is published in an online supplement to The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) represents allergists, asthma specialists, clinical immunologists, allied health professionals and others with a special interest in the research and treatment of allergic and immunologic diseases. Established in 1943, the AAAAI has nearly 7,000 members in the United States, Canada and 72 other countries. The AAAAI’s Find an Allergist/Immunologist service is a trusted resource to help you find a specialist close to home.