There is now officially an FDA approved treatment for a food allergy.
Palforzia is a standardized, oral immunotherapy product for the treatment of peanut allergy. It is intended for use in lessening the risk of allergic reactions in peanut-allergic patients after accidental exposure to peanuts.
The treatment is approved for patients aged 4 through 17 years old who have a confirmed diagnosis of being allergic to peanut. People who take Palforzia must continue to avoid peanuts in their diet and carry injectable epinephrine (i.e. an Epi-pen) with them at all times.
Peanut allergy is caused by the body’s immune system mistakenly identifying peanut as harmful to the body. Reactions are unpredictable, varying from person to person, but can be severe from even trace amounts of peanut. Some people have physical symptoms within seconds of being exposed. Symptoms can include hives, redness or swelling of skin, digestive discomfort or most dangerously constriction of the throat and airways and loss of adequate blood flow to vital organs. Even when antihistamines and epinephrine are used promptly and appropriately, severe reactions can be fatal.
According to Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, “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. 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.”