Can Your Peanut-Allergic Child Be Treated Simply By Wearing A Patch?Monica Bielanko
Four out of every 100 children have a food allergy. Often that allergy is to peanuts.
Peanut allergy is a very real problem with a potentially fatal reaction. It is the most common cause of food related death (AAFA).
Someone who suffers a peanut allergy reaction should get medical help immediately.
Now, If your child has a peanut allergy, you might eventually be able to administer their medication at home instead of making all those inconvenient doctor appointments.
Researchers at National Jewish Health, along with the Consortium of Food Allergy research are working on creating the peanut patch.
The patch would seek to desensitize allergic patients by exposing them to increasing amounts of peanut protein, similar to the way allergy shots can desensitize people to pollen. The protein would be delivered through the skin from a patch, like nicotine patches used by people trying to quit tobacco.
Right now those with food allergies need to go to their doctor to get progressively higher doses of their allergenic food protein and often carry doses of epinephrine around with them.
“We currently treat food allergy using oral immunotherapy and sublingual immunotherapy or drops under the tongue, but if this patch proves successful, it would likely be a much more convenient treatment option for patients and their families,” said David Fleischer, MD, Pediatric Allergist at National Jewish Health.
Fleischer says the patch could be administered at home and would eliminate the number of office visits.
The peanut patch is currently undergoing safety trials. If those are successful, researchers hope to begin clinical trials to determine if the patch works to desensitize patients allergic to peanut.
“We have a long way to go to determine if this is a viable and safe way to treat peanut allergy,” said Dr. Fleischer. “However, this is potentially a very exciting advance in the treatment of food allergies.”
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Info by National Jewish Health