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Food Immunotherapy / Oral Immunotherapy At Modena Allergy + Asthma in San Diego, CA

Stop the Worry

Modena Allergy + Asthma in San Diego Can Help

Roughly 8 percent of U.S. children have food allergies, and this number continues to rise every year. For these children and their parents, social settings like eating out and birthday parties can cause strong feelings of fear and worry.

The treatment of food allergy has historically been strict food avoidance with early rescue medication availability (i.e., injectable epinephrine) to treat anaphylaxis reactions.

Food reactions can be severe, life-threatening, and can occur with eating a single bite of food. Meanwhile, food avoidance is difficult for many families, increasing anxiety and strongly impacting the quality of life of a child and their parents.

At Modena Allergy & Asthma in San Diego Food Immunotherapy is a proven safe, increasingly utilized therapy that improves prognosis by raising the threshold for anaphylaxis. By administering the food in very small but slowly increasing doses, it can prevent or lessen the severity of food reactions caused by accidental exposures. In some patients, it can even lead to "free eating" of the food and something known as "sustained unresponsiveness". Most importantly, it has been proven to strongly improve quality of life and help people "get their life back."

In summary, Food IT aims to build tolerance or increase the "threshold" to a reaction, while reducing the severity of allergic reactions, and improving prognosis and quality of life for children and their parents.

What is Food Immunotherapy?

Food Immunotherapy aims to reduce an individual's sensitivity to a food (also called "desensitization") by the slow introduction of the food in very small amounts on a daily basis, typically over many months to years.

One type of IT is called "oral immunotherapy" or OIT, where increasing amounts of the food is ingested every day.

Another version of food IT is called sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT), which involves dropping food extract under the tongue and holding it for 2 minutes. SLIT is very safe with very little risk of anaphylaxis but will not typically achieve the status of "free eating" or "sustained unresponsiveness."

Through the gradual introduction of controlled amounts of the allergen, Food Immunotherapy builds tolerance and reduces the severity of allergic responses over time. In doing so, food IT may improve food reaction thresholds and thereby reduce fear and anxiety associated with food allergies, empowering patients to lead a more unrestricted and fulfilling lifestyle.

With increasing recognition among allergists and patients, Food Immunotherapy is revolutionizing the management of food allergies and improving the quality of life for many.

San Diego food immunotherapy model


  1. Free Consultation: with our Food Immunotherapy providers.
  2. Challenge: Determine all and exactly what foods your child is allergic to through testing and open food challenges.
  3. Personalize: Choose and help create a personalized desensitization regimen modeled after one or more of the desensitization regimens or pathways used in the most stringent clinical trials.
  4. Treat: Start your desensitization therapy over a period of 1 to 4 years, protecting your child from accidental exposures and improving their quality of life.
  5. Challenge Again: Proven success! Protect your child from accidental exposures or develop food freedom.

Benefits of Food Immunotherapy

  • May reduce fear and anxiety surrounding food allergies
  • Improves disease knowledge and understanding
  • Enhances quality of life
  • Raises the threshold of anaphylaxis (known as "bite protection")
  • Empowers patients
  • May lead a more unrestricted lifestyle
  • Improves overall disease long-term prognosis for many
  • May result in "free eating" and "sustained unresponsiveness"
San Diego food immunotherapy model family speaking with doctor

Why Modena Allergy + Asthma?

Personalized for Patients of Any Age

  • High success rate using scientifically proven and published studies.
  • Freedom to choose from one or more regimens, all of which are based on stringent clinical trials. No fringe, expensive, or wasteful therapies.
  • < 1% adverse reaction rate.
  • 24/7 on-call service.
  • Reasonable prices and financial assistance for qualifying patients and families. Our goal is that no child is left behind.
  • Simple, straightforward methods with proven success.

The providers at the Modena Food Allergy Center are committed to providing scientifically proven, safe, affordable, honest treatments grounded in scientific research with realistic expectations and clear, mutually agreed upon aims. We deliver the highest level of personalized medical care with close supervision and 24/7 call availability.

We do not advocate unproven, overpromising therapies that are not well-studied and not accepted by the greater society of allergy physicians. We do not deliver Food Immunotherapy when it's not necessary (e.g., treatment of false positive skin tests). We do not overcharge for our services or perform unnecessary testing if such testing is not informative or predictive of outcomes or prognosis.

At Modena Allergy + Asthma, we aim to provide scientifically proven, safe, affordable treatments grounded in scientific research with realistic expectations and clear, mutually agreed upon aims.

We strongly caution against any food immunotherapy programs using unproven therapies that are not well-studied and not accepted by the greater allergy society of physicians. Food immunotherapy has been studied over the past 10-15 years, with many studies demonstrating the benefits and limitations. It is rather straightforward and should be simple for you to understand.

Call For A Free Consultation

Do's And Don'ts

Don't: Waste time and money desensitizing to foods that you (or your child) are not allergic to, which has never been proven to be helpful.

Don't: Believe every allergy test. A single positive skin or blood test does not equal a true allergy. There can be false positives with food allergy testing, especially when the test values are on the lower end of positive. These tests are needed many times to confirm the diagnosis unless the history is strongly convincing and tests are confirmatory high. An in-office oral “food challenge” is a proven safe and structured way to determine whether or not you or your child is truly allergic.

Don't: Do overly expensive, unproven, or fringe therapies. At the BiPP, we share with you the proven evidence, and then you choose from a number of possible treatment regimens developed by leading research centers. OIT should be simple and straightforward.

Do: Your research. Join support groups, Facebook pages, and other knowledgeable groups. Learn about what has been shown by the growing number of clinical research papers and books on food IT.

Do: Take your time. Undergoing Food Immunotherapy in San Diego is a major commitment, and “jumping right in” without understanding the process is not productive. We may need to have 2 or more pre-visits prior to starting the program for educational purposes.

Do: Consult with your family and pediatrician.

Food Immunotherapy Candidates

Food immunotherapy (IT) is suitable for individuals with anaphylactic food allergies, such as those with anaphylactic reactions to peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, wheat, or soy.

Eligibility for OIT is assessed on a case-by-case basis, considering factors like blood test results (i.e., specific IgE testing), the patient's age, the severity of the allergic reactions, and the ability to adhere to the protocols.

Schedule Your San Diego Food Allergy Immunotherapy Consultation

With The Bite Protection Program (BiPP) at Modena Allergy + Asthma Today

Take the first step towards improving your child's food allergies. Schedule your consultation with the Bite Protection Program (BiPP), and embark on a journey towards a safer, more enjoyable life. To learn more about Food Immunotherapy San Diego patients can call us at (858) 252-3721 during our normal office hours.

Food Allergy Immunotherapy

Frequently Asked Questions

Food immunotherapy is increasingly recognized as an effective treatment for food allergies, and its popularity is growing among allergists and patients alike.

Oral immunotherapy is safe when administered under the supervision of a qualified allergist or trained nurse practitioner. Systemic and anaphylactic allergic reactions may occur, but they are uncommon and typically easily treated at home without going to the ED. It is rare that a child will have an anaphylactic reaction caused by food immunotherapy.

Some patients will develop the ability to eat freely and demonstrate "sustained unresponsiveness" to foods they were previously allergic to. In others, it may only increase the reaction threshold and reduce the severity of reactions (i.e., bite protection).

The cost of food immunotherapy can vary depending on individual factors and treatment duration. During your consultation, we will provide detailed information about the treatment costs.

In general, commercial and government insurance providers do not cover the costs of food immunotherapy.

Schedule a consultation today

You don’t have to let allergies, asthma or immune system issues dictate your life. With a specialist like Dr. Brian Modena by your side, you can get back to living your best life.

9850 Genesee Ave Suite 710, La Jolla, CA 92037