FDA approves first medication to treat peanut allergies in children
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The Food and Drug Administration approved the first drug to treat peanut allergies in children Friday.
The new medication, called Palforzia, can be used in children ages 4 to 17. It’s for children who have been diagnosed with a peanut allergy by a doctor.
Palforzia is not a cure, but it is designed to minimize the severity of a child’s allergic reaction to peanuts.
Even a small amount of exposure can be harmful to children with this allergy. The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology says peanuts are one of the most common food allergies.
The new treatment essentially works by exposing children to controlled dosages of peanut protein over time. Eventually they can build up a tolerance, according to Aimmune Therapeutics, which developed the medication.
In clinical trials, two-thirds of children tested were able to eat a small amount of peanut without having a reaction.
The FDA still encourages parents to have injectable epinephrine on hand to be on the safe side, however.