Immunotherapy (ages 7-16)
Immunotherapy involves taking small amounts of characterised peanut allergens by mouth every day and increasing them over time. Most of these doses are taken at home, but the first dose and each subsequent dose increase are taken in the Cambridge Peanut Allergy Clinic under medical supervision.
The two-year immunotherapy programme typically requires ten hospital appointments. The first appointment involves an allergy assessment (2 to 3 hours), which determines your child’s suitability to undergo the programme. There follows a series of 7 appointments during the “up-dosing” phase. When your child reaches the top dose they enter the “maintenance phase”, during which they continue taking the daily dose at home until the end of the two-year programme, with follow-up consultations at 12 and 24 months.
Allergy assessment (all ages)
An allergy specialist takes a full description of your child’s allergies, including other food allergies, eczema, asthma and hay fever, and performs some tests (skin prick tests, a blood test and a breathing test). The specialist identifies which nut types your child is allergic to and provides a risk assessment based on the likely severity of reactions. Individualised avoidance advice and emergency medication will be recommended.
Primary care training packages
You and your colleagues will be trained in recognition and diagnosis of peanut allergy in primary care. You will be guided how to offer initial avoidance advice and to provide emergency medication and trained to keep your patients protected whilst they wait for a specialist allergy opinion.
All services at the Cambridge Peanut Allergy Clinic are offered on a private basis. For NHS services please visit the CUH allergy department. Note that peanut immunotherapy is not currently funded by the NHS.