Today’s Mom keeps a strict nut-free home screening everything children with peanut allergies eats which up until now.
That avoidance is the only treatment for peanut allergies.
It’s very very stressful when the crumb of a wrong cookie could kill your child.
There are 1.6 million children with peanut allergies and complete ironclad avoidance as a Herculean task because peanuts are everywhere often hidden in food.
But now a study to be published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine describes an oral immunotherapy that increases peanut tolerance in children.
Study volunteers were given small exposures to very small doses of peanut protein gradually increasing from less than one peanut until 67% of the volunteers could tolerate two peanuts.
While an important development the director of the Jaffe food allergy Institute at Mount Sinai cautions that this does not mean that peanut butter and jelly is back on the menu.
Dose every day will keep the threshold up so that if there’s an accident to a small amount then maybe there’ll be no symptoms or very mild symptoms as opposed to not being on this treatment of Peanut Allergies.
But it’s not a cure for Peanut Allergy.
Parents are happy that at least there are finally going to be some options on the market.
Peoples have been trying something else an experimental peanut allergy patch that has increased their tolerance somewhat as there are no side effects.
Not all the volunteers improved on the treatment and many still had serious side effects. Some even needing EpiPen rescue and children taking the treatment will need to take it religiously every day like a medicine stopping the treatment means that the benefit will likely wear off.
The possible treatment for a peanut allergy.
Mostly, kids, they had some adults in the initial group that that was severely peanut allergic and they basically used this medicine which is derived from peanut protein.
They started them at very low levels and gradually sort of ramp them up to a daily dose that was about a half a peanut or so.
Then after 6 months on that dose they tested them with a challenge of consuming a peanut and then sort of saw how they reacted.
The people who had taken this Peanut Allergy Medicine for the last few months had a much lower risk of anaphylaxis or severe symptoms you know from the peanut ingestion.
There are some really big things to keep in mind with this study.
1 This is not a cure
So this is not a curative treatment of Peanut allergic peoples.
Peanut Allergy really tends to be lifelong and so if you’ve been taking this medication every day the intent is really to keep kids what we call bite safely.
Meaning that if you accidentally take a bite of something that has peanut in it you have a lower chance of having a severe reaction.
But we’re certainly not recommending that if you take this medicine you won’t have a peanut butter sandwich.
2 We don’t know How long the Efficacy lasts
So they measured they had these people on the drug for about 6 months and then they found a good response but again it’s lifelong so we don’t know if they have the same effects at a year or 5 years or 10 years out.
3 We don’t know how much it’s gonna cost
So while I think it’s super exciting and it’s really really great news for certain parents of CHILDREN with peanut allergies which can be very severe.
Children having peanut allergy, it is true that exposing them at some level when they’re younger helps prevent it in some way
This is where the money is right so we can talk about this treatment of peanut allergies which is likely to be very expensive and not curative but the money is really in thinking about preventing those peanut allergies from developing in the first place.
So we used to say you know wait until after a year for these common things and now we really say around six months with that early introduction of food.
If your child’s not at high risk for having City allergies go ahead and use those age-appropriate products that contain peanuts and that really does we think lower the chance of developing allergies.