Peanut Allergy Clinic

Dorset Peanut Allergy Clinic

The Peanut Allergy Clinic is a specialist private allergy service at Southampton Children’s Hospital.

Who Are We & What We Do?

Welcome to the peanutallergyclinic. We are a leading specialist private allergy service at Southampton Children’s Hospital run by a team of expert allergy doctors and nurses. After an assessment by Dr Mich or Dr Helen, children with peanut allergies who are aged 4 to 17 years are able to undertake oral immunotherapy using the only licenced treatment in the UK. This product helps children with a peanut allergy tolerate a higher amount of peanut before an allergic reaction may be triggered. This can help reduce the severity of a reaction that may occur if a child is accidentally exposed to peanuts. For many families this is a life changing treatment as they are no longer worried by their child eating out, travelling or going to university.

How Do We Treat Peanut Allergies

Peanut allergies can occur at any age and can develop after the first exposure or after eating peanuts regularly.

Early Onset Discovery

Peanut allergies can occur at any age. For some children it occurs the first time they are exposed to peanuts and for others, it can develop despite eating it regularly. Symptoms include hives (urticaria), swelling, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, runny nose, runny eyes or anaphylaxis.

Allergy Testing & Results

Allergy testing can include skin prick tests with results on the same day or if necessary, a blood test. The diagnosis of a peanut allergy is made by combining a history suggestive of allergy symptoms with a positive test result.

Medication, Monitoring & Treatment

Children have a 20% chance of outgrowing Peanut Allergies and for many years, no treatment options existed. Now, the world of allergy is changing and we are seeing a new hope, Oral Immunotherapy.

Working With Babies & Infants

Peanut immunotherapy is currently licensed for children from the age of 4. Studies are underway to explore if this treatment can be used in younger children and the results from this are looking very promising. We are happy to assess younger children for a peanut allergy and discuss future options with you.

Our hope is that immunotherapy will soon be an option for younger children too, as children’s immune systems are more modifiable at a young age. Children given immunotherapy early are more likely to be able to tolerate higher levels of peanut without reacting. Please contact us for more information.

Working With Children & Teens

As peanut immunotherapy is only licensed to age 17 years, many families are keen to start their teenage children on this before their opportunity to change their tolerance level has passed. Teenagers are keen to live a full life without worry about their allergy but understandably, this can cause a great deal of angst to parents who are used to monitoring what they eat, accompanying them to restaurants, on holidays and liaising with schools about their allergies.

Whilst deaths from anaphylaxis are thankfully, extremely rare, we sadly know that they are more likely to occur in teenagers and young adults. Immunotherapy offers a very real hope to protect teenagers against anaphylaxis to peanuts and allows them to live a ‘normal’ life as they go off to university or the workplace.

Resources Available

Check out some of our related resources and information in the links below!

Client Testimonials

Where To Find Us

Frequently Asked Questions

Immunotherapy can be considered for all children with an IgE mediated food allergy and there are very few children who cannot undertake treatment. If a child has asthma which is not controlled then we will need to improve this before treatment can commence. Additionally, if a child has Eosinophilic Oesophagitis, then immunotherapy is not likely to be suitable. Dr Helen and Dr Mich will make a careful assessment in clinic and confirm that your child is likely to benefit and be safe with treatment.

The treatment comes as a capsule which contains peanut protein. The capsules are carefully opened and mixed with a cold pudding like a yoghurt or custard. Children are initially started on a very small amount of peanut protein which is given in a supervised clinic environment. Our clinics are always well staffed, and we have highly qualified staff available to monitor your child at all times. Once your child has tolerated their first ‘dose’ in clinic, they go home and continue to have this dose daily for 2 weeks. We then see you all in clinic again after 2 weeks to give the next dose up.

Our treatment programme is for 2 years. Children will visit us at Southampton Children’s Hospital every 2 weeks for the first 6 months. After this, children will visit every 3 months for the next 6 months. After the first year, children are swapped from the licenced medication to peanut M&Ms and follow ups are done virtually for another year. It is important to understand that we recommend peanuts are kept in the diet daily even at the end of our two-year programme to ensure that tolerance is maintained.

By the end of the treatment programme individuals are able to tolerate 300mg peanuts -this equate to one to two peanuts. After the first year on the licensed medication we will transfer your child to peanut M&Ms to keep costs down. They will safely be able to eat two peanuts a day but many individuals in the study were able to have much higher amounts of peanut than this without a reaction.

Undertaking immunotherapy is a commitment which the whole family needs to be on board with as there are frequent appointments for the first six months. However, we all recognise that life needs to continue despite active treatment and therefore, many of our families will still go on holiday during the treatment programme and we can make arrangements with you for treatment to continue.

Contact Us

If you have any questions or would like more information, please complete our short form and we will be in touch as soon as possible.