FDA approve first drug to treat peanut allergies

FDA approve first drug to treat peanut allergies

US regulators have approved the first drug for the treatment of peanut allergies in children.

The US Food and Drug Administration confirmed it has approved Palforzia, which is designed to minimise allergic reactions - including potentially life-threatening anaphylaxis - that may occur when there's accidental exposure to peanuts.

The drug can be used when an allergy is diagnosed in children between the ages of 4 to 17.

The treatment takes place in three phases - with doses increasing over several months before settling on a daily maintenance dose.

However, those who take Palforzia must still continue to avoid peanuts in their diets.

The FDA's Peter Marks explained: “Peanut allergy affects approximately 1 million children in the U.S. and only 1 out of 5 of these children will outgrow their allergy.

"Because there is no cure, allergic individuals must strictly avoid exposure to prevent severe and potentially life-threatening reactions."

He added: “Even with strict avoidance, inadvertent exposures can and do occur.

"When used in conjunction with peanut avoidance, Palforzia provides an FDA-approved treatment option to help reduce the risk of these allergic reactions in children with peanut allergy.”

Peanut allergy occurs when the body's immune system mistakenly identifies peanut - even in small amounts - as harmful.

Symptoms can develop within seconds of exposure, with symptoms ranging from skin reactions such as hives to potentially fatal reactions such as the throat and airways constricting.

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