EPD was first used in the early 1960s by Doctor
Leonard M. McEwen (who, like any qualified doctor, is listed in the
Medical Register, copies of which can be found in local libraries). He
found that an injection containing a single dose of grass pollen with a
very small amount of beta glucuronidase (an enzyme produced naturally by
the body) could be more effective in treating hayfever than a long
course of conventional desensitising injections or courses of
Further research by Dr. McEwen has made this
treatment extremely effective for all types of allergy and intolerances.
Since the dose of allergen needed for EPD is much smaller than that
used in conventional desensitising injections, this treatment is also
What does EPD contain?
Enzyme Potentiated Desensitisation (EPD)
consists of two components, an activated enzyme called
beta-glucuronidase and a mixture of dilute allergens. Several
formulations of allergens can be provided, depending on the condition to
The two components are mixed immediately prior to
injection and administered as an intradermal injection of 0.05ml (about
the size of a raindrop), usually in the volar aspect of the forearm.
The components of EPD are manufactured under a
specials licence by McEwen Laboratories Ltd. Only doctors who have
undergone a specialist course of training in the use of EPD can be
supplied with this treatment.
The most common formulations which are used are:
IC - simple inhalant allergens (pollens, moulds, mites and animal danders)
XE - all of the above and a wide range of foods and common food additives
X0 - a dilute form of XE
Dt - some common detergents
T - “terpenes” (oil-soluble perfumes and chemicals)
The high-strength allergen mixtures generally
contain about the same amount of each allergen as a normal skin prick
test; the low-strength allergens are about a millionfold more dilute
Although anaphylaxis remains a theoretical risk
of EPD, so far, in 40 years of use, it has never happened. However,
patients are asked to wait in the clinic for at least 30 minutes after
Research on EPD has been published in
international medical journals. In addition, a white paper has been
submitted to the US Congress - The American EPD Study, the largest
outcome-based study of any type of immunotherapy ever undertaken. Links
to these documents can be found on the Useful Links page.