Document Type



Paediatrics and Child Health (East Africa)


Background: The 2010 Diagnosis and Rationale for Action against Cow’s Milk Allergy (DRACMA) guidelines are the only Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) guidelines for cow’s milk allergy (CMA). They indicate oral food challenge (OFC) as the reference test for diagnosis, and suggest the choice of specific alternative formula in different clinical conditions. Their recommendations are flexible, both in diagnosis and in treatment.

Objectives & methods: Using the Scopus citation records, we evaluated the influence of the DRACMA guidelines on milk allergy literature. We also reviewed their impact on successive food allergy and CMA guidelines at national and international level. We describe some economic consequences of their application.

Results: DRACMA are the most cited CMA guidelines, and the second cited guidelines on food allergy. Many subsequent guidelines took stock of DRACMA’s metanalyses adapting recommendations to the local context. Some of these chose not to consider OFC as an absolute requirement for the diagnosis of CMA. Studies on their implementation show that in this case, the treatment costs may increase and there is a risk of overdiagnosis. Interestingly, we observed a reduction in the cost of alternative formulas following the publication of the DRACMA guidelines.

Conclusions: DRACMA reconciled international differences in the diagnosis and management of CMA. They promoted a cultural debate, improved clinician’s knowledge of CMA, improved the quality of diagnosis and care, reduced inappropriate practices, fostered the efficient use of resources, empowered patients, and influenced some public policies. The accruing evidence on diagnosis and treatment of CMA necessitates their update in the near future

Publication (Name of Journal)

World Allergy Organization Journal

Included in

Pediatrics Commons