By: Shelby Lin Erdman, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
WASHINGTON, D.C. –
Those with the most severe allergies to peanuts can die from the tiniest exposure.
Now the Food and Drug Administration is reviewing the first treatment for peanut allergies.
An agency advisory committee started the review Friday and will offer a recommendation on the drug, Palforzia, which is not a cure for peanut allergies, but could help save lives, according to media reports.
In a year-long trial, the drug helped reduce the severity of allergic reactions in children between the ages of 4 and 17 who had peanut allergies, The Washington Post reported, saying the drug helped the children tolerate two peanuts, but not without somewhat severe side effects.
While peanut exposure for those with severe allergies can be deadly, those taking Palforzia still experienced a reaction to peanuts and still needed epinephrine injections to control the allergic reaction, the Post reported.
So, while peanut exposure might not kill them if they’re taking the new treatment, they still needed to avoid the nuts and keep emergency medication on hand.
The Food and Drug administration will consider the panel’s recommendation when it makes its decision on the drug, but the recommendation is not binding, according to the newspaper.
If approved, the treatment could open the door for other food allergy drugs that, instead of treating an allergic reaction after it occurs, could help prevent it altogether.