The only way to prevent an allergic reaction is to avoid milk and milk proteins altogether. This can be difficult because milk is a common ingredient in many foods.
Despite your best efforts, you or your child may still come into contact with milk. If this happens, medications, such as antihistamines, may reduce signs and symptoms of a mild milk allergic reaction. These drugs can be taken after exposure to milk to control an allergic reaction and help relieve discomfort. Talk with your doctor about which medications might work best for you.
If you or your child has a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), you may need an emergency injection of epinephrine (adrenaline) and a trip to the emergency room. If you're at risk of having a severe reaction, you or your child may need to carry injectable epinephrine (such as an EpiPen) at all times. Have your doctor or pharmacist demonstrate how to use this device so you're prepared for an emergency.
Allergy shots, also sometimes called immunotherapy, haven't been proved effective for treating food allergies, but research is ongoing.
Aug. 11, 2011
- Atopic and allergic disorders. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merck.com/mmpe/sec13/ch165/ch165c.html?qt=milk allergy&alt=sh. Accessed June 5, 2011.
- Food allergy: An overview. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/foodallergy/documents/foodallergy.pdf. Accessed June 5, 2011.
- Sicherer SH. Food allergens: Overview of clinical features and crossreactivity. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed June 2, 2011.
- Tips to remember: Food allergy. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. http://www.aaaai.org/patients/publicedmat/tips/foodallergy.stm. Accessed June 5, 2011.
- Schneider Chafen JJ, et al. Diagnosing and managing common food allergies: A systematic review. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2010;303:1848.
- Du Toit G, et al. Identifying and managing cow's milk protein allergy. Archives of Disease in Childhood: Education and Practice Edition. 2010:95:134.
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