Is there an allergy-free future?
Food allergies can be a caregiver’s worst nightmare. Anaphylaxis causes an itchy rash, and can be deadly, swelling the throat and tongue to such an extent that breathing becomes next to impossible.
EpiPens can ease worries. They can be quite effective at grabbing extra time for victims hit by an attack, but the underlying problem remains: there is no cure for food allergies.
Peanut allergies affect over 1 million children in America- that’s about 1 to 2% of all kids living in the U.S. And so it’s good news that researchers are making advancements.
They’ve discovered a new treatment for the condition that seems to be good at helping children, specifically.
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According to a recent article on Time.com, scientists have developed a new drug that allows kids with severe peanut allergies to tolerate much more exposure to the food than they would normally.
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine describes the phase-three trial.
The drug studied is called AR101. It’s derived from peanuts and can increase a child’s tolerance to the foods significantly. Prior to taking the drug, children in the study could not safely tolerate more than 1/10th of a peanut kernel. After taking the drug, they could safely ingest the equivalent of 2 peanut kernels, without breaking out into serious side effects.
AR101 works by exposing those who take it to a controlled daily dose of peanut protein. The body then slowly builds up a tolerance to the food. It has yet to be FDA approved. Scientists say it could be available in prescription form by late 2019.