NORTHWEST ARK. (KFTA) — A safety net may soon be available for children with peanut allergies thanks to the food and drug administration. This is the first oral treatment for peanut allergy to help children.
It’s called Palforzia and it’s for kids between the ages of 4 to 17 years old. Its been recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
According to the FDA about 1 million children suffer from a peanut allergy. Exposure to peanuts can lead to tightening of the throat, hives, wheezing, swelling and in extreme cases even death.
Now, this new drug is not a cure, but it helps build a tolerance against peanuts. The drug comes in a powdered form inside a capsule, which is pulled apart. The powder can be mixed in semi-solid food like applesauce or yogurt.
During treatment, the dose is increased throughout several months. Doctor Laurie Anderson with the Children’s Clinic in Springdale said this new drug could lead to further treatments. “Now that they have this drug that has been approved that other companies could come along and do wheat or gluten allergy and have a pill that you can take where you can develop tolerance from that.”
Anderson said it’s expected to cost about 900-bucks a month. The treatment should only be done under the care of a specialist and can have some serious side effects. The FDA warns that an anaphylactic attack can still happen while taking the drug. This is not for anyone with asthma.
Those who are taking Palforzia must continue to avoid peanuts in their diets.
It’s not clear when the new drug will hit the market.