The Food and Drug Administration is assessing a new drug aimed at treating peanut allergies in children.
It’s called Palforzia, and it works by exposing kids to pharmaceutical-grade peanut protein. According to the Washington Post, the drug could pave the way for a new generation of therapies that reduce allergies by desensitizing patients.
One problem with Palforzia is its high rate of side effects. One in ten of the people taking it during a trial had to stop because it caused abdominal pain, vomiting, or allergic reactions that required epinephrine to stop. Also, the drug doesn’t fully eliminate peanut allergies.
Most children who saw success with the treatment were able to tolerate just two peanuts. That’s enough, though, to prevent a reaction from most accidental exposures.