Hope on the Horizon for Pediatric Peanut Allergies

Over one million American children have a peanut allergy!

I wrote a blog a couple of years ago which indicated that researchers found that people with food allergies are increasing at a significant rate—an 18% jump between 1997 and 2007 alone, and that peanut allergies have tripled in recent years. That blog indicated several reasons for this rapid increase, but I won’t go into those specifics with this blog,

The good news, however, is that there is now a therapy to prevent this increasing threat with the recent recommendation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval of the first-ever drug to treat life-threatening peanut allergies in children.

This drug is not a cure for the allergy. Rather, the goal of this therapy is to greatly reduce the risk of accidental exposure to small amounts of peanuts and peanut-based food products that can set off a catastrophic and life-threatening anaphylactic reaction.

The new drug is an oral immunosuppressive therapy regimen that reduces sensitivity to peanut allergens over time. Gradual exposure to small amounts of peanut protein over the course of six months or so can allow a child with a severe peanut allergy to safely ingest the equivalent of two peanuts without a significant reaction.

This does not mean the child can safely eat peanuts from that point forward, but it does reduce the allergic reactions from the accidental ingestion of peanut dust from contaminated food preparation surfaces, products manufactured in plants where peanut products are also manufactured, and products containing small amounts of peanut-source ingredients.

I think some of you may remember that I am a volunteer certified running coach. This year my coaching focus has been to develop a youth running program in the non-profit running club that I am a member of.

One of the significant things we do in our registration process of our youth training program is to identify the medical/medication needs and any significant allergies of our young participants. Food allergy identification is a primary component of that screening process since we serve snacks at the end of each training session.

We have had several of our youth participate who have severe peanut allergies. We identify those kids on day one and make sure their parents provide separate snacks to prevent any possible risk of triggering a life-threatening event during group snacks and rehydration.

Such kids are the likely candidates for this drug regimen. It could possibly save the life of one of those kids if they accidentally ingested a peanut-containing product in the future.

Thoughts? Comments” I’d love to hear them!

About James J. Murray, Fiction Writer

With experience in both pharmaceutical manufacturing and clinical patient management, medications and their impact on one’s quality of life have been my expertise. My secret passion of murder and mayhem, however, is a whole other matter. I’ve always loved reading murder mysteries and thrillers, and longed to weave such tales of my own. Drawing on my clinical expertise as a pharmacist and my infatuation with the lethal effects of drugs, my tales of murder, mayhem and medicine will have you looking over your shoulder and suspicious of anything in your medicine cabinet.
This entry was posted in About James J. Murray, About Medications/Pharmacy, Anaphylaxis, Blog Writers, Blogging, Children and Food Allergies, Common Food Allergies, Cutting Edge Drug Therapy Research, Deadly Food Contamination, Food Allergies on the Rise, Foods and Lethal Allergic Responses, Foods That Kill, Identifying Peanut Allergies, Increased Peanut Allergies in Kids, Increasing Food Allergies, James J. Murray Blog, Lethal Food Allergies, Medical Technology Advances, Murder Mayhem and Medicine, New Blog, New Drug Discoveries, New Drug For Treating Peanut Allergies, New Drug Research, Peanut Allergies, Pediatric Peanut Allergies, Pharmacy/Pharmaceuticals, Prescription For Murder Blog, Prescription Trends, Preventing Peanut Allergy Reactions, Screening For Peanut Allergies, Severe Food Allergies, The Pharmacy Profession, The Price of Freedom and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Hope on the Horizon for Pediatric Peanut Allergies

  1. Hi James,

    I came to your site to figure out how to kill someone. Well, not a real person, a character in a book. I want to make it look like a heart attack, and it seems you have the perfect advice (thanks). But I also saw the title for this post.

    I’m in my 50s, and have suddenly developed a nut and peanut allergy. Ended up in the emergency room a couple times before I got tested and found out what was causing it. I now carry a couple epipens with me all the time. I’m in the UK, so it’ll probably another century or two before a remedy like this one makes it to this side of the pond, but I find it very interesting and glad you posted about it. If you don’t mind, I’m going to point to this post on a peanut allergy forum I’m on.

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