New Treatment for Peanut Allergies Shows Promise

Peanut allergy could be beaten by building up tolerance, study finds

Severe peanut allergy could be overcome by building up tolerance according to study

Study participants ranged in age from 4 to 55 years, most were 4 to 17, and all had peanut allergy.

The results, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, discovered about two-thirds (67%) of children and teenagers could tolerate at least 600mg of peanut protein, compared with just 4% of participants on the placebo. Epinephrine, used as a lifesaver for the anaphylaxis (severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reactions) in food allergic patients in case of accidental exposure. On Sunday, the results of a study were announced at the American College Of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology conference in Seattle, which "may lead to approval of what could be the first oral medication that ameliorates reactions in children with severe peanut allergies".

Doses were gradually built up every two weeks for a period of six months, before continuing on a "maintenance dose" of peanut for an additional six months.

A new treatment to protect people with peanut allergies is ready for FDA review. But they also cautioned that the treatment does not cure peanut allergies and should not be attempted at home. Instead, the goal is to make it so that they no longer have to worry about trace amounts of peanuts in other foods from cross contamination.

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The drug contains defatted peanut flour to help users eventually reduce sensitivity to peanut exposure, but unluckily for some the treatment wasn't successful and they had to drop out of the trial due to adverse effects to peanut exposure.

"This is not a quick fix, and it doesn't mean people with peanut allergy will be able to eat peanuts whenever they want", says allergist Jay Lieberman, MD, vice chair of the ACAAI Food Allergy Committee and study co-author.

"Our hope when we started the study was that by treating patients with the equivalent of one peanut per day, many would tolerate as much as two peanuts", he said. Twenty-five percent of children who had received AR101 experienced moderate symptoms during a food challenge at the end of the treatment, versus 59 percent of participants who had been given a placebo. The PALISADE trial has shown, however, that oral immunotherapy is a reasonable treatment option. OFCs are considered the gold standard for testing food allergy.

The medically supervised trial at Cork University Hospital offered Eoghan the chance of living a life free from the threat of his allergy. If approved, it could be available by prescription in 2019. At the end of the trial, Two-thirds tolerated the equivalent of two peanuts, which would provide protection against reactions to accidental peanut exposures.

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