The final research results for a new treatment for protection against accidental exposure to peanut was presented today at the American College of Allergy.
Peanut allergies can be one of the most terrifying ailments to live with — just being around the legume, not even eating it, can trigger a life-threatening reaction for those with a severe sensitivity. It’s become so prevalent in recent years that parents have had to be more and more careful about exposing their children to peanuts at young ages.
Study participants ranged in age from 4 to 55 years, most were 4 to 17, and all had peanut allergy. One third of the participants were given a placebo, while the remaining two-thirds were given peanut protein powder in increasing amounts until reaching the “maintenance dose” – the dose they stayed on for the remainder of the study. The maintenance does was the equivalent of one peanut daily.
Spoiler alert, they hoped right.
The team worked with participants ranging from 4 to 55 years old, all of whom were allergic to peanuts. The treatment is currently under review with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and researchers are hopeful for approval. That said, if you suffer from peanut allergies, don’t start dreaming of all the PB and J sandwiches you’ve missed out on quite yet. Allergist and study co-author Jay Lieberman
There are currently no approved treatment options for peanut allergy. If this treatment is approved by the FDA, it will be available by prescription, and people with peanut allergy will need to remain on it to stay protected against accidental consumption. Once someone stops the treatment, there is no longer a protective effect.
The approach was also met with fewer side effects than the team anticipated. Only six percent of participants dropped out of the study due to such complications. One-third of patients completed the study without experiencing anything more than mild side effects along the way.