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Oral Food and Drug Challenges

Oral food and drug challenge tests can help to diagnose or rule out food and drug/medication allergies.

Why choose UPMC in Central Pa. for your oral challenge test?

The allergy specialists at UPMC Allergy and Immunology understand that allergies can be inconvenient, uncomfortable, and in some cases, potentially life-threatening. We offer oral food and drug challenges to diagnose or rule out allergies to foods or medications when other tests are inconclusive or unavailable.

What is an oral challenge test?

An oral challenge test is a medically supervised procedure where a suspected allergy-causing food or drug (allergen) is given in small, gradually increasing amounts to diagnose or rule out an allergy.

Oral challenge tests are usually performed when there is no other way to test for the allergy, or when skin, blood, or patch tests are inconclusive, but an allergy is still suspected.

What do I need to know before an oral challenge test?

Your doctor will provide specific instructions about how you should prepare for your oral challenge test.

What happens during an oral challenge test?

During an oral challenge test, you will be asked to consume a small amount of the food or drug that is a suspected allergen. If no signs of an allergic reaction develop within a short period of time (usually 15 to 30 minutes) after you first consume the food or drug, you will be given a slightly larger amount of the food or drug.

This process will continue until you have been given an amount equal to a normal serving or normal dose. If you develop signs of an allergic reaction at any time during the test, the test will stop and you will receive medications as needed to control allergy symptoms.

What can I expect after an oral challenge test?

If the oral challenge test is positive, you will develop signs of an allergic reaction during the test. If symptoms develop, you will be watched for several hours after the test to make sure they symptoms go away. If no symptoms develop, you will still be watched for an hour or two to make sure you do not experience delayed symptoms.

Based on the results of your oral challenge test, your doctor will develop an allergy treatment plan or provide further instructions for you.



UPMC Allergy and Immunology
Located at UPMC Outpatient Center
21 Waterford Drive
Mechanicsburg, PA 17050

Phone: 717-988-9180
Fax: 717-775-5723


Need more information?

Many of our providers offer video visits. Call the office or schedule via your patient portal.

Phone: 717-988-9180

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