By: Blake Taylor
In the science community, new advancements are being made everyday for treating food allergies in children, especially peanut allergies. As someone with a peanut allergy myself, this technology is very exciting and intriguing. In January 2020, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved a new peanut allergy treatment. Living with a food allergy is very frightening, therefore knowing that there is a developing treatment that will possibly be available in the near future is very uplifting.
This new treatment is a drug called Palforzia. While it is currently not a cure for peanut allergies, it is proven to be a very effective treatment. The treatment is given in a powder form in small doses through Oral Immunotherapy. Overtime, the patient will begin taking larger doses of Palforzia as their body adjusts to the drug. This will allow the child to build up some resistance to peanuts, so in the event of accidental cross-contamination, they will not suffer a life-threatening allergic reaction.
There are, however, some drawbacks to Palforzia. If a child does ingest more than a tiny bit of peanuts, they will likely still suffer a reaction. It also does not work for all patients and could have mild, but unwanted side effects. So far, it is proven effective in children ages 4 to 17, so it is not ideal for young infants, toddlers, and adults. Another downside is that it is currently not covered by most insurance agencies, so it is still very expensive. A patient must be very committed to the process and take the necessary daily doses of Palforzia in order to see results.
While this is not a perfect solution, it is a step in the right direction. Hopefully, there will be a cure for peanut allergies in the future, but for now, this is a very helpful and effective treatment.
Photo courtesy of NYdailynews.com.