Health Matters: New pill may help with peanut allergiesPosted: Updated:
A peanut powder-filled capsule could be the key to treating peanut allergies.
Researchers across 10 countries studied 551 participants with peanut allergies between age four and 55 and found that gradually exposing people with allergies to allergens could reduce their risk of a severe reaction.
Most, 496, were between ages four and 17.
Three-quarters of the participants received increasing doses of the experimental treatment and the rest received a placebo.
Side effects pushed 11-percent of the participants to drop out of the study.
After a year, each remaining participant took an exit challenge, eating the equivalent of two peanuts under a doctor's supervision.
Two-thirds of child participants tolerated the challenge without a severe reaction. Half of those actually tolerated twice as much - a four-peanut dose.
Ten percent of children receiving treatment required an epi-pen during the exit challenge. Fifty-three percent of the placebo group required an epi-pen during the exit challenge.
Experts warn this isn't a cure for allergies, and say patients receiving treatment shouldn't expect to be able to eat whatever they want.
But researchers believe increasing tolerance for peanuts can reduce the risk of a severe reaction.