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Food Allergy Treatment Loses Efficacy With Time

MONDAY, July 8 (HealthDay News) -- Many children who are initially successfully treated for allergy to cow's milk by oral immunotherapy lose tolerance several years later, according to a letter to the editor published online June 27 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Corinne A. Keet, M.D., from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues followed 32 children who had been treated with oral immunotherapy for allergy to cow's milk three to five years earlier. At the end of the original study, all but three children were able to consume at least some milk.

The researchers found that eight children (25 percent) had no symptoms with milk consumption on follow-up. However, 12 children (38 percent) had frequent or predictable symptoms, seven children (22 percent) had sporadic symptoms, five children (16 percent) were not consuming milk, six children (19 percent) had experienced anaphylaxis at least once, and three children (9 percent) had used epinephrine at least once.

"It is clear from these preliminary data that long-term outcomes after cow's milk immunotherapy are decidedly mixed, with some subjects losing desensitization over time and no more than 31 percent of subjects tolerating at least full servings of cow's milk with minimal or no symptoms," Keet and colleagues conclude.

One author receives royalties from UpToDate.

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