Peanut pill offers hope to allergy sufferers

Consumer News

(NBC News)  – The Food and Drug Administration has approved a first-of-its-kind treatment for children affected by peanut allergies.

The drug, Palforzia, works to blunt the immune system’s response to accidental exposure.

It works by building a tolerance over time using a measured dose of peanut protein powder.

It’s the first food allergy treatment of its kind to be given FDA approval, and has the potential to change the lives of young people diagnosed with life-threatening peanut allergies.

Emily Nestor is one of the approximately 1 million children in the United States who’re allergic to peanuts.

“In the back of your mind you’re always a little nervous that she could accidentally ingest something that could cause harm,” her mother, Nicky, says.

For years, Emily and her family checked food labels.

She didn’t leave home without an Epipen, and skipped treats at birthday parties and school. 

Health experts caution these types of treatments aren’t a cure.  Patients, like Emily, will likely continue them in some form the rest of their lives, but for the Nestor family, they’re progress.

“I definitely feel like a weight off my back came off,” Emily says.

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