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FDA Approves Drug to Treat Peanut Allergy in Children

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration approved the first treatment for children with peanut allergies.

In a news release, Dr. Peter Marks, Director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research wrote, “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.”

The new drug, called Palforzia, is not a cure but but will reduce allergic reactions in children ages 4 through 17, whose peanut allergies are already diagnosed.

Marks noted that despite avoiding peanuts, unintentional exposure can still happen and this drug is designed to counter the effects of those reactions.

“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.”

According to the FDA an allergic reaction from peanuts can occur from even the smallest trace of the nut or it byproducts being ingested or any other type of exposure.

The Palforzia pill is administered in three phases taken over time, but is not to be used in emergency situations for treatment the way an EpiPen is used.

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About the Author: Aisha K. Staggers is a writer, lecturer, political analyst and literary agent. She appears weekly for “Staggers’ State of Things” on the Dr. Vibe Show. Her work has been published by Paper Magazine, AfroPunk, The Spool, GREY Journal, MTV News, HuffPost, Blavity, Atlanta Blackstar, For Harriet, New York Review of Books and a host of other first-run publications and syndicated outlets. Find her on Twitter @AishaStaggers. For more of her work, check out her page here!

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