People with peanut allergy must be constantly vigilant to avoid a life-threatening allergic reaction. But researchers report that a new drug injection might offer at least temporary protection against the most severe reactions.
Just one shot of an experimental antibody treatment allowed people with severe peanut allergy to eat about one peanut’s worth of peanut protein two weeks later, the study found.
The drug is like “a protective blanket” shielding people from accidental peanut exposure, said study senior author Dr. Kari Nadeau, director of the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at Stanford University in California.
Peanut allergy affects an estimated 2.5% of American children, and that number has risen sharply over the past decade, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).
Children and adults with a peanut allergy are at risk of having a sudden and severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) that can be life-threatening if they consume even small amounts of peanuts.
The problem is that peanuts are in many foods, such as candy, cereal, baked goods, sauces, marinades and even in ice cream, according to the ACAAI.