A first line treatment option for cows’ milk allergy


Cows’ milk allergy (CMA) is one of the most common causes of food allergy in babies, affecting 1 in 50 Australian infants.1 As first responders, pharmacists are well placed to offer advice and recommendations for infants and their families.

Food allergies like CMA cause distress for infants, as well as parents.2 CMA is a highly complex food allergy that can be either IgE-mediated or non-IgE-mediated.3

IgE-mediated CMA is a rapid onset of allergic reactions, while non-IgE-mediated CMA is the delayed reaction, usually occurring after two or more hours. Non-IgE-mediated is more difficult to diagnose as allergy tests for cows’ milk are often negative for these reactions,1 so the process can be more challenging – putting stress on the parents and families of the suffering infants.2

An extensively hydrolysed formula is the first line recommendation for formula-fed infants under six months of age with CMA (non-anaphylaxis).4 More information on formulas for CMA can be found on the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy website.

Why an extensively hydrolysed formula for CMA?

Extensively hydrolysed formulas have been treated with enzymes to break down most of the cow’s milk proteins that cause the allergy, making them usually the first choice in treating CMA for infants without anaphylaxis. Extensively hydrolysed formulas are available for purchase without prescription in pharmacies.1 It is important for pharmacists to be aware of the treatment options and methods for switching formulas if necessary.

Aptamil AllerPro is a premium specialty infant formula, suitable for formula-fed infants with a confirmed mild to moderate cows’ milk, and/or soy protein allergy. Aptamil AllerPro is tolerated by 97% of infants with CMA (non-anaphylaxis)5 and effectively relieves symptoms.6 Aptamil AllerPro is nutritionally complete, supporting healthy growth and development of infants.

Breastmilk is best for babies: Professional advice should be followed before using infant formula. Introducing partial bottle feeding could negatively affect breastfeeding. Good maternal nutrition is important for breastfeeding and reversing a decision not to breastfeed may be difficult. Infant formula should be used as directed. Proper use of infant formula is important to the health of the infant. Social and financial implications should be considered when selecting a method of feeding.

For more information about Aptamil AllerPro please visit https://www.aptaprofessional.com.au/topics/aptamil-allerpro/ or contact our Nutricia Careline service on 1800 438 500 AU or 08 00 438 500 (NZ).

Aptamil AllerPro is available for purchase from https://www.mumstore.com.au/


  1. Cow’s milk (dairy) allergy. 2018. ASCIA. 1-2. At: https://www.allergy.org.au/patients/food-allergy/cows-milk-dairy-allergy
  2. Godwin H, et al. The quality of life of children with food protein induced gastrointestinal allergies. Abstract presented at European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition ESPGHAN 2013. At: https://journals.lww.com/jpgn/Documents/ESPGHAN%20Abstracts%202013.pdf
  3. Venter et al. Better recognition, diagnosis and management of non‑IgE‑mediated cow’s milk allergy in infancy: iMAP—an international interpretation of the MAP (Milk Allergy in Primary Care) guideline. Clin Transl Allergy (2017) 7:p26. At: https://ctajournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13601-017-0162-y
  4. Kemp et al. Guidelines for the use of infant formulas to treat cows milk protein allergy: an Australian consensus panel opinion. MJA 2008; 188:109-112. At: https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2008/188/2/guidelines-use-infant-formulas-treat-cows-milk-protein-allergy-australian
  5. Giampietro PG et al. Pediatr Allergy Immnol 2001;12:83-6. At: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11338291
  6. Verwimp JM et al. Eur J Clin Nutr 1995;49(1):S39 – 48. At: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8647062