If you or someone you know struggles with peanut allergies, there may finally be a viable treatment solution. Peanut allergy affects approximately 1 million children in the U.S., and only 1 out of 5 of these children will outgrow their allergy. Our team at Center for Allergy & Asthma of Georgia is excited to announce the FDA’s decision to approve Palforzia as the first “drug” treatment for a peanut allergy. The drug was approved on January 31, 2020 and may only be used on patients aged 4 through 17 years old. It is also the first FDA-approved treatment for food allergies to ever be released.
What Is Palforzia?
Here’s what we know: Palforzia is used to mitigate allergic reactions, such as anaphylaxis, and can only be used on younger-aged patients, from 4 through 17 years old. Since there is still no cure, allergic individuals must strictly avoid exposure to peanuts to prevent severe and potentially life-threatening reactions. Palfrozia is offered in a powdered substance, so patients can sprinkle their medicine into foods for easier oral dosing.
It’s important to note that Palforzia is a treatment, not a cure. It only lessens the risk of a severe allergic reaction if you accidentally ingest peanuts. Because over a million children are affected by peanut allergies, it’s actually quite common to consume them unintentionally.
How Does Palforzia Work?
Palforzia is a type of oral immunotherapy, which is a type of treatment that works by desensitization, reducing the chance of severe allergic reactions. Any patient who is prescribed the drug must have a valid prescription for an Epi-pen and do their first oral doses at a certified site.
The doses are given in a very structured approach, involving three phases of treatment:
- The first phase starts with an initial dose under the direct supervision of a specially certified physician.
- Next, patients must make regular trips to the physician’s office, as the dosage amounts will gradually increase until they can tolerate larger amounts without reaction.
- Lastly, the maintenance phase can be done in the comfort of your home. Patients must continue taking a daily dose of 300 mg indefinitely to keep the desensitization effect.
Palforzia can only be prescribed through a restricted program called Palforzia Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS). After enrolling in the program, the patient, parent, or guardian must be educated by a healthcare provider who has also enrolled in the program. You will be taught how to monitor dosing schedules with the initial dose procedure, as well as each up-dosing level.
Want to Know More? Call Our Office!
Although it is not yet released, we’ll be offering Palforzia to select patients as soon as it’s available for treatment on the market. Palforzia opens the doors to many possibilities for both patients and the medical community at large. Our providers at the Center for Allergy & Asthma are happy to speak with you regarding this option and look forward to answering your questions regarding peanut allergy treatments.
Speak with one of our Center for Allergy and Asthma board-certified specialists, by contacting us online or calling (770) 459-0620 today!