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During a food challenge you will be given gradually increasing amounts of a specific food in a controlled and safe manner under close observation. The purpose of the challenge is to identify if you are allergic to that particular food and how much of that food it may take to cause a reaction. Sometimes it is necessary to “blind” the challenge, meaning the food to which you are being challenged is hidden in another food. This will be discussed and agreed upon in advance.
Please follow these directions when getting ready for this test.
The following medicines might affect the results of the food challenge and will need to be stopped before the testing is done unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
If the medicine is not stopped before the food challenge we may not be able to perform the challenge.
All antihistamines will affect the results of some of these tests and need to be stopped before the testing is done. If you have any concerns about stopping antihistamines please check with your doctor before you stop the medicine.
Stop these antihistamines for the length of time listed before your appointment for the challenge:
If you are taking an antihistamine that is not listed, ask your doctor.
Some antidepressants can also act as an antihistamine. Let your doctor know if you are on any antidepressants before the food challenge. Do not stop the antidepressant without discussing it with your doctor.
Continue to take all other medicines as you usually do.
You will check in to the Allergy and Asthma Center. Feel free to bring reading materials, a laptop or tablet to use during your food challenge.
You will begin the food challenge by eating a small amount of the suspected food. If the first dose is tolerated you will be given gradually increasing amounts of the food every 15 to 30 minutes until a normal meal-sized portion is eaten or the challenge is stopped because of symptoms or a reaction. You will be monitored closely during the food challenge by the nursing staff. Dr. Mjaanes will be available to provide evaluation or treatment in case of any symptoms.
Once the food challenge is done Dr. Mjaanes will discuss the results with you, answer your questions, and make recommendations.
A single food challenge can take anywhere from 3-5 hours, but can take longer if you have a reaction. You should plan to spend at least half the day in clinic.