Is There a Cure for Peanut Allergies?

The short answer is no.  But there is one treatment option available now to help those who currently have a peanut allergy. And there are promising treatments in the research and clinical trial stage that may offer options in the future for those living with peanut allergies.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Palforzia, produced by Aimmune Therapeutics, to lessen allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, that may occur with accidental exposure to peanuts. Palforzia, which would desensitize children ages 4 through 17 years to peanuts over a period of about six months, is a treatment, but not a cure.

Palforzia is an oral immunotherapy (OIT) shown to help some children and teens increase tolerance to peanuts, reducing the likelihood of a serious reaction from accidental exposure to peanuts.  It uses increasing doses of peanut flour to help a body deal with the ingestion of protein powder, reducing a serious systemic reaction, such as anaphylaxis.

Antihistamines and epinephrine can be used to treat allergic reactions, but severe reactions can be fatal even with appropriate prompt treatment. Palforzia cannot be used for the emergency treatment of allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis.

More Treatments on the Horizon

A second potential treatment option for peanut allergy is DBV’s Viaskin peanut patch. Viaskin’s  biologic license application (BLA) was accepted by FDA in October 2019 and is to be reviewed by August 2020. In the BLA, DBV has requested approval for the epicutaneous patch therapy for children with peanut allergy ages 4-11 years. Viaskin delivers tiny amounts of peanut protein transdermally (through the skin) in order to increase the threshold for reactions. Like Palforzia, Viaskin is not a cure for peanut allergies.  “According to the DBV website, this potential new treatment is not a promise or guarantee for all children and it involves some risk.”  Results described in the clinical study may vary in different patient populations.

Bottom Line

If you have a peanut allergy or have a child that may have one it is very important to work with a board certified allergist. For those that are looking for a treatment option, Palforzia, in conjunction with a peanut-avoidant diet, could be an option to help create a more comfortable quality of life. This truly is a breakthrough in the world of treatment for peanut allergies!

You should always consult an allergist if you have concern about a food allergy. Working with an allergist who is familiar with your health history would assist in managing a food allergy risk.

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