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'Exposure Therapy' May Be Option for Kids' Egg, Milk Allergies
Date:7/18/2012

r home therapy."

Results of both studies appear in the July 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Egg and milk allergies are among the most common food allergies, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Although the traditional treatment for food allergies is to avoid the food to which you're allergic, milk and eggs are common ingredients in many foods, making it difficult to strictly avoid them.

Many youngsters outgrow these allergies. According to the milk study, as many as 70 percent of children with a milk allergy will outgrow it by age 3. But for some, egg and milk allergies persist, posing a potentially life-threatening danger from accidental exposure.

Children in the egg study were all between 5 and 11 years old. Fifteen of the children were given a placebo; the remaining 40 were given a daily dose of oral egg-white immunotherapy for 10 months.

After 10 months, the children were given an oral food challenge test containing 5 grams of egg-white powder. None of the children on placebo passed the test, but 22 of the 35 children still taking oral immunotherapy passed the challenge. (Five children dropped out of the treatment group before the oral challenge.) The treatment group continued receiving daily oral immunotherapy, while the placebo group was allowed to stop taking the placebo.

At 22 months, children were given another food challenge test. This time they consumed 10 grams of egg-white powder -- about the equivalent of large egg. Thirty children passed the test this time.

Those who passed were taken off immunotherapy, and then given a food challenge test again two months later to see if their allergy would return. Eleven children passed this test, and were considered cured of their allergy. The researchers followed up with another challenge test in a year, and all 11 remained free of any allergic reaction to eggs.

Most side effects children experienced occur
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