Peanut allergy treatment shows positive early results
Children who suffer from severe peanut allergies may be in luck as a new drug has been developed to mitigate the potentially deadly effects of accidental ingestion. LSU Health New Orleans Allergy expert Dr. Kamboj says it’s not for light allergy sufferers, and you won’t be scarfing down PB&J’s, but, you might be able to eat something cooked in peanut oil.
“It’s not going to kill their peanut allergy, but if they have an accidental ingestion, they will not have a life threatening condition.”
The treatment is still awaiting FDA approval.
It’s an oral medication that builds up peanut tolerance in allergy sufferers over six months. That’s by slowly introducing a non-fatty peanut protein in small batches. Kamboj says they ran the experiment on 372 children.
“It’s a very small amount of peanut powder that is prepared inside of a capsule. They start with the smallest dose, say three milligrams, and then gradually increase the dose.
Two thirds of the participants who took the treatments saw positive results, but roughly 20 percent of participants had to drop out, and 14 percent of those taking the treatment had episodes that required epinephrine, vs only 6 percent of those who took the placebo.
Kamboj says it’s a process, but once the immunotherapy hits the half year mark, most allergy suffers should be able to avoid anaphylaxis from ingesting even tiny portions of peanut.
“Once they have reached the maintenance dose after six months, then they can take about two peanuts a day to maintain that desensitization.”
One in 50 Americans is estimated to have a peanut allergy, something patients are usually stuck with for their entire lives.