Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Allergies Health Center

Font Size

Treating Food Allergies

Right now, there is no cure for food allergies. You need to be careful and avoid the food you’re allergic to.

New treatments are being studied that may help in the future, though.

Recommended Related to Allergies

Angioedema, Hereditary

Important It is possible that the main title of the report Angioedema, Hereditary is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.

Read the Angioedema, Hereditary article > >

Oral Immunotherapy

You know how important it is to avoid the foods that trigger your allergies. But researchers are studying whether getting a tiny amount of those foods might help your body get used to them and reduce the chance of a serious reaction.

It’s called oral immunotherapy, and so far it seems to work best for peanut, milk, and egg allergies. In studies, people have been given a tiny amount of the food they’re allergic to, while a doctor monitors them for any reaction. Over time, they get a little more of the food. 

In one study, kids with egg allergies were given small doses of egg white powder every day. After 10 months, more than half of the kids could eat the equivalent of one egg with few or no symptoms. After almost two years of the treatment, 75% of the kids were practically symptom-free.  

It’s important to note that these are research studies in carefully controlled situations. Don’t try this at home -- you could have a life-threatening reaction.

Allergy Drops

Another similar treatment is called sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT). It’s been used in Europe and has been studied in the U.S. for nasal allergies and asthma. Researchers are now investigating whether it can help food allergies, although it’s not yet approved to treat any allergies in the U.S.

With SLIT, a doctor puts a few drops containing the food under the person’s tongue for a minute or two. The doctor watches closely to make sure there’s no serious reaction. Over time, the dose is increased.

So far, researchers have studied SLIT for peanut, milk, peach, and kiwi allergies. The studies show that it works for many people while they are getting this treatment, but researchers are still looking at whether it lasts after people stop getting the daily doses.

Asthma Medication

It's still early in the research stage, but the asthma medicine Xolair (omalizumab) may make oral immunotherapy work better. Researchers are studying it to see if it may help by itself. Right now Xolair is only approved in the U.S. to treat allergic asthma.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Luqman Seidu, MD on October 25, 2012

Today on WebMD

man blowing nose
Make these tweaks to your diet, home, and lifestyle.
Allergy capsule
Breathe easier with these products.
 
cat on couch
Live in harmony with your cat or dog.
Woman sneezing with tissue in meadow
Which ones affect you?
 

woman sneezing
Slideshow
Bottle of allergy capsules and daisies
Article
 
Urban blossoms
Slideshow
Woman blowing nose
Slideshow
 

Send yourself a link to download the app.

Loading ...

Please wait...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Woman with itchy watery eyes
Slideshow
Allergy prick test
VIDEO
 
Man sneezing into tissue
Tools
woman with duster crinkling nose
Quiz