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An Oral Food Challenge (OFC) may take 2 or more hours and is the best way to see if a patient is allergic to a certain food. This letter offers more information about how to prepare for an appointment. Please read this letter carefully in advance of an upcoming challenge appointment.

What is a food challenge:

  • The patient is given a small amount of the food.
  • Every 10-15 minutes, the patient is given more food. The size, timing, and amount of food will be decided by the doctor or nurse.
  • After the last dose of food, the patient must stay in clinic to be watched for at least one (1) hour. This is to make sure they do not have a reaction. In some types of OFCs, the patient must be watched for 4 hours to make sure there is not a late reaction.
  • After each dose, the doctor or nurse will make sure the patient is not having an allergic reaction. If the patient is having a reaction, the test will be stopped and the patient will be given medicine for the reaction. The patient may need to stay in clinic longer to be watched for up to 5 hours.


Benefits and risks of food challenges:

The benefits are:

  • Find out if the patient has a food allergy
  • See the patient’s reaction to the food

The risks are:

  • Mild or severe reaction that may include:
  • Throat or mouth itching
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling
  • Hives
  • Worse itching
  • Throwing up
  • Stomach pain
  • Very loose stools
  • Wheezing
  • Feeling dizzy or fainting
  • A drop in blood pressure
  • Death

If you have a reaction, you could get:

  • Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
  • Epinephrine (Epipen)
  • Albuterol treatment
  • Steroids

If an allergic reaction occurs, you must stay in the clinic until it is safe to leave. Rarely, you may need to go to an emergency room or to the hospital for further treatment.


Questions about billing for challenges

To help avoid unexpected surprises, it may be helpful to check with your insurance company to find out what will be covered by them for your child’s challenge procedure. The CPT codes your insurance company may ask you for are: 95076 (first 2 hours of the appointment) and 95079 (each additional hour). You may also contact our clinic financial counselors at 984-974-9968 or 984-974-9972.