Peanut Allergy Clinic

Hampshire Peanut Allergy Clinic

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

Who Are We & What We Do?

The PeanutAllergyClinic is a specialist private allergy service at Southampton Children’s Hospital which is run by a team of expert allergy doctors and nurses. We offer oral immunotherapy to treat peanut allergies. This is the only licenced treatment in the UK for children aged 4-17 years. This treatment helps children tolerate a higher amount of peanut before an allergic reaction may be triggered, reducing the severity of potential reactions. This can be life-changing treatment for families as it eliminates concerns about accidental exposure to peanuts when 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

If you suspect you or a loved one may have had an allergic reaction to peanuts, it is important to seek a full assessment from a qualified healthcare professional. Dr Mich Lajeunesse from Allergy Healthcare has a clinic at The Spire Hospital in Southampton.

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

Once a diagnosis is made, families will be provided with information on how to keep their child safe, how to recognise and treat allergic reactions and how to navigate reading food labels, eating out, travelling and socialising.

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.

Children with a peanut allergy have a 20% chance of outgrowing it, and until recently, no treatment options existed other than avoidance. However, oral immunotherapy is now being used as a way to help children become tolerant to peanuts by introducing small amounts of the allergen. This is currently the only licensed treatment for peanut allergy in the UK. 

Working With Children & Teens

Families with teenage children who have peanut allergies often want to start immunotherapy treatment before their child turns 18, as it is only licensed for those aged 4 to 17 years. Teenagers want to live a normal life without the constant worry of their allergy, but this can cause anxiety for parents who are used to monitoring their child’s food, accompanying them to restaurants and communicating with schools about their allergies.

Although deaths from anaphylaxis due to peanut allergies are rare, they are more likely to occur in teenagers and young adults. Immunotherapy is a life changing treatment which allows us to protect our teenagers against fatal reactions from peanut anaphylaxis.

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.