Wednesday March 27, 2019

New Treatment Against Peanut Allergy

Compared to the placebo group, participants who took AR101 had less severe allergy symptoms

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New treatment shows promise against peanut allergy. Pixabay

n a first, an oral immunotherapy drug derived from peanut protein could help build tolerance and eliminate potentially deadly reactions in children and adolescents with severe peanut allergies.

The study showed that controlled ingestion of the medication, called AR101, derived from peanut protein, could build tolerance as well as reduce severe allergy symptoms.

“Almost 6 million American children are currently living with a life-threatening food allergy,” said Christina Ciaccio, Associate Professor from the University of Chicago in the US.

“Every three minutes a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency room, contributing to the total annual cost of caring for children with food allergy to nearly $25 billion. Despite this, not a single treatment for food allergy has been approved by the FDA,” she said.

However, the drug “is not a quick fix, and it doesn’t mean people with peanut allergy will be able to eat peanuts whenever they want”, the researchers stressed, in the paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

But it is definitely a breakthrough and “results of this landmark trial are likely to lead to the first FDA-approved treatment for food allergy in 2019”, Ciaccio said.

The study showed that controlled ingestion of the medication, called AR101, derived from peanut protein, could build tolerance as well as reduce severe allergy symptoms.

As a result, people who receive and are able to tolerate this treatment should be protected from accidental exposures, the researchers noted, adding that once someone stops the treatment, there is no longer a protective effect.

For the study, the researchers at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) in the US included 496 participants aged from four to 55 years, most were four to 17 year olds, and all had peanut allergy.

One third of the participants were given a placebo, while the remaining two-thirds were given peanut protein powder as part of an oral food challenge (OFC) in increasing amounts until reaching the “maintenance dose” — equivalent of one peanut daily.

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Compared to the placebo group, participants who took AR101 had less severe allergy symptoms.

Furthermore, two-thirds of the people were able to tolerate the equivalent of two peanuts per day after nine to 12 months of treatment, and half the patients tolerated the equivalent of four peanuts. (IANS)

Next Story

Inactive Ingredients in Medicines May Cause Allergy: Study

Precision care and the role for regulation and legislation are essential when it comes to labelling medications that contain an ingredient that may cause an adverse reaction

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A woman suffering from cervical cancer takes her medicine at a treatment facility in Beijing, China, June 23, 2016. VOA

Be cautious while taking medicines as a new study suggests that some ingredients added to pills to improve their shelf life may cause allergy or lead to adverse reactions.

The study found that more than 90 per cent of all oral medications tested contained at least one ingredient including lactose, peanut oil, gluten and chemical dyes that can cause gastrointestinal issues and difficulty in breathing in sensitive individuals.

These components are added to improve the taste, shelf life, absorption and other characteristics of a pill, said researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US.

“There are hundreds of different versions of pills or capsules that deliver the same medication using a different combination of inactive ingredients,” said Daniel Reker from the varsity.

For the study, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the team analysed data on inactive ingredients in over 42,000 oral medications that contained more than 350,000 inactive ingredients.

pregnant women, measles
A nurse holds a vial of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine at Boston Children’s Hospital in Boston, Feb. 26, 2015. VOA

The findings showed a total of 38 inactive ingredients that cause allergic symptoms after oral exposure. Approximately 45 per cent of medications contained lactose, nearly 33 per cent contained a food dye, and 0.08 per cent contained peanut oil.

For certain drugs, such as progesterone, there are few alternatives that do not contain this inactive ingredient.

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“While we call these ingredients ‘inactive’, in many cases they are not. While the doses may be low, we don’t know what the threshold is for individuals to react in the majority of instances,” the researchers noted.

Precision care and the role for regulation and legislation are essential when it comes to labelling medications that contain an ingredient that may cause an adverse reaction, the team suggested. (IANS)