There may finally be a drug to treat peanut allergies

Peanut allergies

There may finally be a drug to treat peanut allergies

Scientists are always working hard to come up with new ways to combat the growing problem of allergies. While we’re uncertain about what causes certain allergies, we’re still making advancements in treatments and potential cures. The latest breakthrough is a new drug for people with peanut allergies

Don’t get too excited just yet. It’s currently with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in America. They’re a regulatory body similar to the European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products (EMA). It’s their job to make sure any new advances are safe for public use. But if it makes it through that stage, it could be life-changing for those with peanut allergies. 

The first treatment of its kind

The drug, Palforzia, was developed by a California startup company called Aimmune Therapeutics. The drug is for oral use, as part of oral immunotherapy. This method involves ingesting small doses of the allergen, gradually increased over the months, to desensitise the immune system and reduce the overreaction to the allergen. 

If the drug is effective, patients could become able to withstand coming into contact with small amounts of peanuts. They won’t be eating them by the handful anytime soon, but it could at least prevent an anaphylactic shock. If it’s approved, the drug will be the first approved treatment for food allergies in the US. But what about the UK?

Palforzia in Europe

The UK and US have different rules for food and drug legislation. It could be a long while before we approve this drug – or a similar one – in the UK. However, many allergists are raising the question of how new this treatment really is. 

Immunotherapy is not a new concept. Many allergists have been treating food allergies with similar methods, using peanut flour or other products from retail vendors, without the high costs often associated with big pharmaceutical companies. 

Either way, the treatment is still not a cure; it has side effects, and does not work for everyone. But when it does, the therapy can be life-changing, acting as a relief to the anxiety and stress that comes with having a life-threatening food allergy. 

The UK will have to wait for now. Immunotherapy is still an option on the table, at least. Before you consider your options, it’s worth speaking to an allergy specialist to make sure you’re doing the best thing for you. 

The consultants at the London Allergy and Immunology Centre are experts in their field, using the most effective treatment methods like immunotherapy to help rid you of symptoms and live an easier life. If you’re looking for relief, don’t hesitate to book an appointment with us.

Copyright 2020. All Rights Reserved