Peanut Allergy Treatment – The Process

If your child gets a runny nose, cough, skin rash, stomach pains or wheezing after eating peanuts, it’s likely they have a peanut allergy. But thanks to advances in peanut allergy treatments, the risk of a severe allergic reaction can be dramatically reduced. However, many parents today believe that peanut avoidance is the only safe option; they are simply unaware of the treatments that are available. Let’s take a closer look at some of the improvements in the peanut allergy treatment process.

How Are Peanut Allergies Treated?

Peanut allergies affect over 1 million children every year within the United States, and only 1 out of 5 children will grow out of their allergy. There is no cure for peanut allergies, and allergic individuals must avoid exposure to prevent severe and potentially life-threatening reactions. Like many food allergies, peanut allergies are unpredictable and result in severe reactions, even from trace amounts.

Recently the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first treatment for children against peanut allergies, known as Palforzia. This treatment is a big step in the fight against food allergies. Previously, the primary form of “treatment” was avoidance, but now there is an approved treatment option beyond that.

Palforzia is a form of oral immunotherapy (OIT) treatment for children aged 4 to 17 years old with a confirmed peanut allergy. Oral immunotherapy’s goal is to slowly desensitize the patient to the food allergen, in this case, peanuts, under the supervision of a doctor.

It is important to note that Palforzia and other forms of OIT are not cures for food allergies, and the aim is to reduce the reaction they may have when exposed to the allergen. When combined with avoidance, Palforzia works to reduce the risk of severe reactions so that should your child be exposed to peanuts in his or her daily life, the response will not be life-threatening.

What Is the Peanut Allergy Treatment Process Like?

The treatment for oral immunotherapy (OIT) begins by slowly and carefully exposing the body to an increasing amount of the allergen. After the child has been approved for this form of treatment, they will be exposed to the smallest trace amounts that become larger under direct medical supervision for several weeks. This treatment is a long process and typically done under three phases. The first is under supervision with later doses done at home with periodic check-ups if the first phase is entirely successful. The final stage is often a management phase with daily doses.

Your child must still practice avoidance of the food allergen, and an EpiPen should be on them at all times to avoid any potential incidents. This drug does not replace an EpiPen and cannot be administered in emergencies for relief.

Though Palforzia is FDA-approved, it is not yet readily available but should become so during 2020. Currently, the treatment cost of Palforzia is set at $890 per month or $11,000 a year with the potential for copay assistance but does not cover office visits. Even if your child does have a peanut allergy, Palforzia may not be right for every child. Parents should plan on having a thorough discussion with their child’s healthcare providers and discuss all the risks and benefits before making a decision.

If you are interested in this drug or treatment but cannot wait, we are proud to inform you that we offer oral immunotherapy treatments for peanut allergies as well, with great success in food allergen management. We use real peanuts and peanut products such as peanut butter to gradually increase the daily intake so that your child can have a higher resistance to peanuts.

Is Oral Immunotherapy Treatment Safe for Children?

Food allergy desensitization with oral immunotherapy treatment is a safe process conducted under medical supervision. Peanuts are administered in a controlled environment, and the child’s well-being is closely monitored. As treatment continues, the allergist measures the child’s progress and adjusts the doses as required.

Best Atlanta Peanut Allergy Treatment Options

If you are experiencing the symptoms of a peanut allergy, don’t hesitate to contact us. Chacko Food Allergy Treatment Center provides thorough food allergy testing and treatment at our locations in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Canton, Cumming, Druid Hills, Duluth and Johns Creek. For assistance, call (678) 668-4688 or request an appointment today.

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