FDA Approves First Drug to Treat Peanut Allergy
If a child you know and love has a peanut allergy, we've got some good news - the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has just approved a new medication to help them build up a tolerance and mitigate allergic reactions.
Business Wire reports that Palforzia is the first approved treatment for patients with peanut allergies. (In fact, they say, it's the first approved therapy for any food allergy.) It's a powder that's designed to be administered to people ages 4 to 17, with increases in dosage over time to significantly reduce allergic reactions like anaphylaxis when kids are accidentally exposed to peanut materials.
The treatment won't magically allow young people with peanut allergies to start scarfing the legumes down and it's not an emergency treatment, but it should hopefully make life a lot less stressful for the 1.6 million or so kids in the U.S. who have to worry about accidental exposure every day.
Kids should just get to be kids and not have to live in fear, especially of a food that's pretty much everywhere. If this treatment can take one less burden off a kid's back, I think that's worth celebrating.
The best part is that it's in the form of a powder that's mixed into food, so kids don't have to worry about getting a shot every treatment time. That's good news too, if you ask me. The Associated Press reports that researchers are also working on peanut patches and drops that can be administered under the tongue. (See video above.)
I'm sure that, like with any drug, there are side effects, so you obviously want to go over that information with your kid's doctor.