Oral immunotherapy for peanut allergy: The con argument

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Background: In some countries of the world, peanut allergy represents an important source of anaphylactic reactions. Traditionally treated with the avoidance of responsible allergens, this condition can also be targeted by oral peanut immunotherapy. Methods: In this study, we review the beneficial and side effects of currently available forms of peanut oral immunotherapy (POIT). We report the discussions resulting from the publication of a meta-analysis that brought to light the downsides of oral immunotherapy for peanuts. Results: In some clinical situations, the risk-benefit ratio can favor peanut oral immunotherapy over avoidance. In many other situations, this is not the case. The decision must be based on the values and preferences of clinicians and patients. Those not ready to accept serious adverse effects from POIT are likely to continue the elimination diet; those motivated to achieving desensitization, and prepared to accept serious adverse effects, may choose to undergo POIT. Conclusions: Without being prejudiced against peanut oral immunotherapy, we indicate the possible evolution of treatment for this condition is in a rapidly evolving broader scenario. Among the future options, sublingual immunotherapy, parenteral immunotherapy with modified allergens, transcutaneous immunotherapy, and the use of biologics will become important options.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100445
JournalWorld Allergy Organization Journal
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


  • Efficacy
  • Oral immunotherapy
  • Peanut allergy
  • Quality of life
  • Safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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